Challenging a will is not for the faint of heart. Most often, estate planning is done carefully and thoughtfully. However, there may be occasions when litigation may be necessary. Contesting a will can be emotionally draining since the process involves invalidating the will of your loved one. But if you have reason to believe that estate planning documents don’t reflect your loved one’s last wishes, then it may be worth the time, money and effort of filing a will contest.
What exactly does contesting a will mean?
If you have issues with the contents of a will, you can formally challenge that will in probate court. A lawyer’s help is almost always necessary in such cases, since keen knowledge of estate planning law is necessary. They can help you understand the implications taking actions to contest the will – especially if a no-contest clause is in place. A lawyer can advise whether you a strong case to contest the will.
Standing is necessary
Only an individual who will be affected personally by what happens in the contesting of a will can legally contest that will. Here are some reasons to think about contesting a will:
- The will was not properly signed and/or witnessed
- The will was a product of fraud
- The mental capacity of your loved one at the time of making the will was questionable
- Your loved one was improperly influenced while making the will
It is not easy to have a will invalidated. However, in some cases, there may be reasonable grounds to suspect that your loved one’s estate planning documents are incomplete or incorrect. In any case, knowing how or even whether to proceed in a will contest is essential before moving forward. An estate planning lawyer may be able to provide the guidance required.