To someone with no background in the law, a contract and a last will and testament may appear to be very similar, though they are in fact quite different. A will is an expression of your desires, while a contract is an agreement between you and someone else. However, though the two are quite different in their creation and effect, you can enter into contracts that affect your will. State laws impose limits on how you can do this, but let’s take a look at a few examples.
Contract to Provide. You are generally under no obligation to create a will or, once you do, to leave anything to your children, family members or anyone else. However, you can choose to enter into a contract in which you promise to provide for someone in your will. This promise has value and you can use it as part of a contract. If you violate the terms of the contract by not including the agreed-upon provision in your will, the person to whom you made the promise can sue your estate for a breach of contract.
Contract not to Revoke. Another kind of contract you can enter into that affects your will is one that prevents you from changing the terms. Normally, you can change the terms of your will at any time. You can also provide for someone in your will and then use that provision, and a promise to not change or revoke those terms as a part of a contract.
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