Estate litigation is not something you want to think about, but there could come a point in your life when you have no choice but to dive into the finer details of the process.
A will contest is one of the most common reasons for estate litigation. There are many situations that can result in a contested will, including but not limited to:
- Lack of capacity: This comes down to whether or not the deceased individual had the capacity necessary to execute their will. For example, if a person has Alzheimer’s Disease, there’s a good chance they don’t have the capacity to create or update an estate plan.
- Undue influence: When a person creates and signs a will, they should do so with full power over all their decisions. If it’s signed under undue influence, such as an individual forcing someone to leave them assets, it can result in a will contest.
- It doesn’t meet legal requirements: There are many laws associated with estate planning and creating a will. If any of these requirements are overlooked, it can invalidate the will. This is why do-it-yourself estate planning is not suggested.
- More than one will: This is a complicated situation in which the deceased created more than one will. It typically takes an in-depth investigation to better understand when each one was created, as well as to determine which one is valid.
- Forgery: It’s not out of the question that a person could forge a will in an attempt to receive more or all of a person’s estate.
There may come a point in your life when you realize that contesting a will is the right thing to do. There could also come a point when another person contests a will, which puts you in a difficult spot if you are the beneficiary.
Regardless of your position, it’s critical to understand the reason for the will contest, your legal rights and what to expect during the legal process.
It’s never easy to contest a will or deal with a situation in which another person takes this action. However, you can’t sit back and hope that everything works out, as this is a complex process that requires extreme attention to detail.