Coping with the death of a loved one is a complicated and stressful process. Going through their estate plan can be a particularly difficult part of this process, especially if you suspect foul play when their will was written.
There are reasons you may be concerned about a loved one’s will and you may find it necessary to contest it, if you think there is unjustness, inequity or inaccuracy. Contesting a will challenges the validity and there are several reasons a will may be considered invalid.
One of the most common causes of will contests are incompetency claims. In this case, you may believe your loved one was not mentally capable of drafting a will, making it invalid. As a person ages or succumbs to disease, they may not be in sound mental state and if they have drafted a will during this time it may not accurately reflect their wishes. If you believe this is the case, you can contest their will due to this reason.
The claim of undue influence is another common cause of a will contest. Older people may be victims of improper influence when writing their will. In some cases, people close to them may try and take advantage of your loved one and influence the conditions of their will. This is another legally sound reason to challenge or contest a will.
Having an outdated or inaccurate will can also cause issues with will contests. If a loved one’s will does not correctly abide by current state laws or was not signed in accordance with state laws, it can be contested. An outdated or unlawful will can prompt concern and a contest as it may not reflect the most updated wishes or conditions of your loved one.
You want to make sure your loved one’s wishes are accurately carried out, based on fair and unimpeded conditions. These are just a few reasons wills are commonly contested. If you believe your loved one’s will was influenced or created under unfair pretenses, contact an estate planning attorney. They can give you more information about your situation and advise you about how to proceed.