When a loved one passes, it is important to be sure that their friends and family follow the decedent’s correct will. This legal document determines who inherits what, as well as any other last wishes of the deceased. A potential beneficiary can contest a will if they feel it is not the right one, but they need a valid reason to do so. To find how why someone can contest a will, here are the five top reasons someone can contest a will:
The decedent did not create the will legally
There is a specific set of laws that a person needs to follow in order for them to create their last will and testament. A common example of these rules includes a requirement for the testator to sign the will in front of two witnesses who are not related to each other or the testator.
The testator did not have the mental capacity
If illness or an injury inhibited the decedent’s mental capacity while creating their will, it might not be an accurate reflection of their last wishes. The person contesting the document will need to prove that the testator was not of sound mind when they made the will.
Someone created the will through fraud
If another person is not satisfied with the real will, they may try to replace it with a will they created that benefits them more than the actual will did. This situation is difficult to prove because no one can ask the decedent which will is accurate.
The probate process can only use the most recent will to settle an estate. If there are multiple wills that all appear to be valid and present at the time of the decedent’s passing, someone may contest that a specific will should be used over the others.
Failure to update a will
Suppose the decedent neglected to update their will after major life events like the passing of a spouse or the child’s birth. In that case, the beneficiaries may try to contest the will saying that it does not reflect the decedent’s last wishes.
Can you contest a will?
Only someone that has something to gain or lose in the result of a will can contest it, provided they also have a valid reason to contest the document. If you are not certain if they are is a valid reason to contest the will, consult with an experienced attorney who can review your situation and determine if there are grounds for contesting a will.