When a loved one passes away, emotions can be heightened, and topics relating to their estate can be sensitive. If you are surprised by the contents of your loved one’s will, you may react in unexpected ways. It’s common to feel anger, sadness and even betrayal. It is important that you take the time to process these emotions before you move forward and decide what action to take.
In certain circumstances, you may want to consider challenging the will. This can alter the amount that you are set to gain from the estate, and it can correct fraudulent or otherwise invalid aspects of the will. In order to successfully challenge a will, you need to have a legitimate route to follow. The following are some of the most common ways to contest a will.
Claim that undue influence was present
A person making a will should have the freedom to state their wishes independently. This means that another person does not have the right to manipulate or coerce a person into making certain statements in their will. If a person is said to have had an undue influence of a person’s will, it means that the will is no longer valid.
Give proof that there is a more recent will
Only one will can be valid, and this will be the most recent legitimate will. If you know of the existence of a more recent will than the will that is currently being observed, it is important that you make this known.
Suggest that there is a lack of testamentary capacity
It is only possible for a person to make a valid will when they are in a mental state where they can make sound decisions. This means that a person who is severely ill may not be able to make a valid will. A person’s testamentary capacity rests on whether they are aware of the impact and seriousness of the decisions that they are about to make.
If you have recently lost a loved one but you are worried about the legitimacy of the contents of their will, looking into your options to contest the will could be beneficial.