3 common reasons to contest a will
March 6, 2023
With the death of a loved one, emotions can run high, and the process of sorting out the estate can seem overwhelming. In many cases, family members may not agree on how to divide the estate, or they may even feel that maleficence is at play.
Uncovering the most common reasons to contest a will can help individuals make more informed decisions.
1. Fraud or undue influence
In some cases, a person may choose to contest a will due to suspicions that someone took advantage of the testator. For example, a beneficiary may have coerced the individual into signing the will, or they may have changed the will without the testator’s knowledge. If a person can prove that there was fraud or undue influence, the court may invalidate the will.
2. Invalid execution
If the testator had not followed the proper legal procedures when creating the will, then someone could argue that the will is invalid. For instance, if the testator did not sign the will in front of witnesses, or if someone else signed the will without the testator’s direction, a person could make a legal challenge.
3. Improper estate administration
In some cases, family members may contest a will if the executor mishandles the estate. Problems could arise if the executor does not follow the testator’s wishes or if there is an unequal distribution of assets among the beneficiaries.
Contesting a will is a serious matter. Before taking any drastic steps, a person should consider the emotional, financial and legal implications that may arise.