While the majority of wills pass through probate without any problems, there are times when someone steps in to contest this legal document.
If you’re interested in challenging a will, it’s important to understand the most common reasons for doing so. This will help you decide if it makes sense to proceed.
- Testamentary capacity: For example, you can challenge the person’s testamentary capacity, such as by arguing that they were suffering from dementia or senility at the time of creating their will.
- Fraud or forgery: You can challenge a will if you’re able to prove it was procured by forgery or fraud. A common example is if another person manipulated the deceased into leaving some or all of their property to them.
- More than one will: Some people make the mistake of creating more than one will, which causes confusion at the time of their death. You may be able to argue that a newer will should trump an older one, putting you in line to receive an inheritance.
A will contest is not something you should jump into without first considering the impact of your decision. For instance, it’s likely to upset other family members and loved ones, which could put you in an awkward position in the future.
If you’ve decided that a will contest is in your best interest, gather all the necessary documentation and outline the steps you’re required to take. Understanding the probate process, as well as your legal rights to contest a will, can help you make the right decisions every step of the way.