Many wills pass through the probate process without having any problems. There are some wills, however, that will be challenged during the probate process. While it isn’t very common, anyone who is going to have to deal with a will in the future should know some of the reasons why a will might be challenged.
One big reason why a will might be challenged is if there was an undue influence over the person who signed the will. This can happen if someone is trying to pressure the person into writing the will in a certain manner. Forgery and fraud are in the same category as undue influence and can lead to a will being challenged.
A person’s testamentary capacity is another reason that a will might be challenged. This means that the person who executed the will didn’t have the legal capability to do so. This can be because the person wasn’t 18 years old or because the person wasn’t mentally able to make the decision. It can also mean that the person didn’t fully understand the will, which is grounds for challenging a will.
In order for a will to be valid, the person who executed the will had to understand how his or her assets would be distributed and the value of the assets in the will. When a person doesn’t fully understand the will’s function or contents, the will might be invalid.
The will must also be witnessed in a proper manner and it must be the newest will available. If it wasn’t witnessed properly or a newer will becomes available, a will challenge might be in order.
Challenging a will is difficult, but it isn’t impossible. If you feel you need to challenge a will, make sure you understand the full process so you can be better prepared as you go through the steps.
Source: FindLaw, “Reasons to Challenge a Will,” accessed May. 28, 2015