The Wall Street Journal recently publishded Departing Shot: How to Disinherit Neatly, Wall St. J., May 6, 2006, at B4, by Kaja Whitehouse. The following are excerpts from this article:

Will contests are becoming more common because people have more to leave behind, says Philip Bouklas, an estate planning attorney in New York.

At least $41 trillion will be passed on before the middle of this century, according to a study by two Boston College economists. Last year, in fact, saw a record number of millionaire households: 8.9 million, compared with 4.9 in 1996, according to research group TNS Financial Services.

Consider using the following safeguards to protect your heirs from a long, costly court battle. Even if the jilted heir doesn’t win, a will contest or lawsuit can place an estate in limbo and deplete money from the rightful beneficiaries for legal fees.