How to Contest a Will
A last will is a legal document that determines the distribution of a person's estate, which includes assets, upon his/her demise. A last will and testament must be up-to-date to be legally compliant with your state's laws. You are free to leave your estate to anybody you want according to most state laws. You are free to leave your money, and property to charity even if you wanted. Doing so though may cause your legal heirs to try and contest your will.
Beneficiaries sometimes contest a will because they’re not happy with the size of their share or may feel left out of the beneficiary list all together. Whatever the reason, many wills are subject to contesting; this is especially true with larger estates and large sums of cash.
Contesting a will is simply a formal objection against the validity of a will in which you don't believe the will reflects the actual intent of the testator. Wills are contested on the grounds that the testator lacked the ability/capacity, was mentally disabled or intoxicated, delusional, or a subject of partial influence.
When contesting a will on the basis of the capacity of the testator then consider if the testator was above the age of 18 since minors are termed incapable. Litigation usually is about incapacity of testator due to senility, dementia and insanity or any such defects which render him/her unable to form a proper will. Although, the state recognizes that capacity to form a will is present if three conditions exist. These conditions are that the testator knows the value and extent of his property, which his family are legal heirs of and how they treated him in his lifetime. This legal test is relevant because dissatisfied heirs ( complainant ) who expected a larger share should have to come up with the burden of proof that establishes the incapacity of the testator. Often times it’s hard to prove someone was mentally unable to have the capacity to write a will.
Besides these conditions, there are a few minor technical details that could be contested. If there is a mistake on the will it can then be contested and proved invalid. Common mistakes are that beneficiaries sometimes sign as witnesses, and another common mistake is when the signatures are not in order. Property value could also not be calculated correctly, which could cause a will to be contested. The names of the beneficiaries may be wrongly identified on the will, or the dates maybe wrongly marked. There are many minor details that could be contested.
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