3 Common Reasons Wills are Contested
Most of us write down our wills and think our job is done. We think that with some basic estate planning we’ve ensured that our possessions will be passed down safely after our demise.
But sadly, it’s not always that simple.
Statistics show that every year about 0.5 to 3 percent of wills are contested in the US. So even if your will is properly signed and witnessed, there is still a chance for it to be contested.
Here are a few of the most common reasons wills are contested.
The Will’s Creator Is Suspected to Have Been Influenced
Testamentary capacity is very essential when creating a will. This basically means that the person creating and signing the will needs to be an adult with normal mental capacity. This essentially implies that the creator needs to be old and sane enough to understand their actions and what the will implies.
The testator needs a thorough understanding of not only their own assets and the value of their estate but also the role their will plays in distributing it. Moreover, they need to understand who they’re signing off as beneficiaries, and so on.
If there’s any valid doubt on the deceased person’s mental capability to create the will in question, then the will can be contested.
The Will Is Incomplete
The will can be considered incomplete on two conditions. Firstly, if it has technical issues like an improper number of witnesses, missing signatures, or isn’t formatted correctly (based on the state’s laws).
But the will is also incomplete if it hasn’t been updated. After every major event in your life, your will needs to be re-evaluated and revised accordingly.
Getting married, divorced, having or adopting children, or acquiring a large amount of inheritance or real estate are all occasions that require you to update your will. Failing to do so can result in the will being contested after your death.
The Will Contains Fraudulent Terms
Wills are most often contested when there are doubts about how genuine they are or whether they’ve been tampered with in any way.
For instance, someone may have reason to believe that the signature on your will isn’t authentic. Or it may look like parts of the will have been crossed out or removed without authorization. Or perhaps, you’ve mistakenly added a faulty clause or an invalid request. There may even be evidence that points toward you being influenced by a family member while writing the will.
And even if your will is 100 percent genuine, at that point there’s little you can do, since you’re probably in a coffin.
So, to make sure your will is legally correct and as accurate as possible, you need an estate law attorney to help you out.
- Will Executor
- estate planning
- Probate litigation
- Will Execution
- Estate administration
- distribution of assets
- holographic wills
- living wills
- valid will
- legal dispute
- Executors & Fiduciaries
- Will contest
- Will Contests
- Joint Accounts
- Legal separation
- Family lawyers