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Do you have grounds to challenge a will?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2022 | Estate Planning |

If you sign a last will and testament, you produce a legally enforceable document that determines any number of things when you die, such as how your assets are to be distributed. You’re able to customize such documents to provide specific instructions and desires about what happens to your property at the time of your death.

A last will and testament is one of the most basic documents included in many people’s estate plans. You might also incorporate terms regarding the powers you wish your executor to have when settling your estate. If you’re named in someone’s will or not named when you thought you should have been, you might be able to contest the last will and testament by asking a probate judge to review your case.

Sometimes, estate owners forget to update their plans

If you forget to update your estate plan, it could cause problems for your heirs. For instance, if you have four children and three of them are heirs in your will but the other is not, he or she might want to contest the will. It’s important to remember that filing a contest doesn’t automatically mean that the court will rule in your favor.

Do you wish to challenge a will’s validity?

Perhaps the reason you are considering filing a contest to a last will and testament is that you believe the person who signed the will in which you’re a designated party (or were supposed to be but weren’t) was under duress when he or she executed an estate plan.

If one discovers a second, more recent will, this also constitutes grounds for challenging the validity of a last will and testament. If a will that includes your name as someone who will inherit a portion or all of an estate includes a “no contest” clause, this means you cannot issue a challenge without risking loss of inheritance.

Parents or legal guardians may file on behalf of a minor

Children have legal permission to contest a last will and testament. If grounds to challenge a will pertain to your son or daughter, or a child for whom you serve as guardian, you may file a legal petition on his or her behalf.

Probate issues can be complex and difficult to resolve, especially if you have no specific legal background in estate administration. However, if you believe someone has jilted you out of an inheritance, you’re certainly within your rights to pursue justice. Most people facing such circumstances consult with experienced probate attorneys before heading to court.