Three Reasons a Will Might Be Contested

When a loved one passes away, most people want to act in accordance with the person’s estate plan and respect his or her wishes. However, there are sometimes occasions where those involved do not believe that the Will accurately reflects the deceased’s wishes. If you are in this situation, you can contest the Will. To contest it means to oppose or challenge its validity in probate court. When you successfully contest a Will, it becomes invalidated and gets thrown out. Read on to discover some situations in which a Will might be contested.

  • The deceased person did not have testamentary capacity when they signed their Will. 

Did the person signing the Will (also known as the testator) understand what they were doing? Did they understand the value of their assets? Did they understand that signing the Will was a legal action? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” it means the person lacked testamentary capacity and their Will should be deemed invalid. This often occurs in cases where the testator has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

It can be difficult to prove testamentary incapacity. However, if there was a doctor’s appointment at which they were clearly confused within a few days of signing, you may have what you need to make a case. 

  • There was undue influence.

Did the testator sign the Will of their own free will? If anyone exerted an unfair level of pressure on him or her, it may be considered undue influence. Keep in mind that nagging, and even some types of verbal abuse, do not meet the threshold for undue influence. There’s more likely to be a strong case for undue influence if the person in question isolated the testator from family or paid for the testator’s Will. 

  • The testator was tricked or otherwise frauded into signing the Will.

In some cases, testators have signed Wills while under the impression that they were signing a deed or power of attorney. Again, the testator has to be fully aware of what he or she is doing by signing and must be doing it of his or her own free will. If you can prove that the signature on a Will was procured by fraud, the Will could likely be declared invalid.

Who can help me contest a Will?

If you think you have strong grounds on which to contest a loved one’s Will, call ElDeiry & ElDeiry, P.A. We have extensive experience helping clients who are facing these types of frustrating situations. We understand how important it is to make sure your loved one’s wishes are truly followed. Call (954) 670-2800 to get started.

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