Tips For Contesting A Will: When You Should Do It

When a loved one passes away, you have to deal with your grief while you navigate the estate administration and probate processes. What happens if the will you've found for your loved one doesn't seem right? Do you have any recourse if you believe that something is wrong with the will that the court is processing? Here are some things that you should know about contesting a will.

Do You Have A More Recent Version?

When your loved one updates their will but the one that the court has is not the most recent, you can contest the will to have the current one considered instead. You'll need to have proof that the one you have was completed more recently, including a signature that reflects the presence of witnesses that attest to the deceased's state of mind.

Were You Left Out?

If you are an immediate relative of the deceased and you have reason to believe that you were left out of the will accidentally, you can work with an attorney to contest the will. Your attorney will help you present a case for why you believe that you were overlooked. This is most effective if there is no text at all in the will addressing the omission.

Did Someone Coerce The Deceased?

One of the reasons that the law requires witness signatures on a will is to attest to the fact that the writer was of sound mind and not under anyone else's influence at the time of the will's writing. Sometimes, the witnesses conspire to lead the will writer astray in an effort to secure more money. If you have any reason to suspect that your loved one's will was drafted under this type of influence, you need to work with an estate litigation attorney to contest it. Any evidence you have of the coercion will help you fight the will in probate court.

Was The Deceased Unaware Of Their Actions?

As people age, dementia, and other illnesses can lead to poor memory, impaired thinking, and compromised mental capacity. In those cases, they might change a will without being fully aware that they did so. If you have proof that the deceased was diagnosed with dementia before the will's publication date, you can contest the validity of the will if there are questions.

These are some of the things to consider when you wonder if you should contest a will. Contact an estate litigation lawyer for more information.