A well thought-out, legally binding will can be powerful in an estate plan. After all, it can concretely dictate how assets are to be distributed, leaving no room for interpretation. That sounds well and good, but the truth is that wills are contested all the time. If you’d like to avoid the validity of your will from being drawn into question, or you think that your loved one’s will should be invalidated, then you need to know how these documents are typically challenged.
How is the legal validity of a will contested?
A lot of people don’t realize that there are several ways in which a will can be challenged. Here are some of them:
- Undue influence: Here, the will’s creator is overwhelmed by the influence of another, who essentially manipulates the will’s creator to try to secure assets for themselves. If you want to avoid perceptions of this as a will creator, then try to distance yourself from those who are overbearing or are otherwise trying to influence your decisions and your caretaking.
- Lack of mental capacity: You have to understand what you’re doing when you create estate planning documents. If your mental capacity is diminished to the point that you don’t understand the nature of your assets or what your will does with them, then your will can be deemed invalid.
- Improper execution: There are strict legal requirements when it comes to the execution of a will. Make sure you know the law and have the proper witnesses present when you sign the document.
- Fraudulent execution: When you create a will, you should have a full and complete understanding of the assets in play and what your will accomplishes. If you’ve been lied to the point that you don’t have a realistic understanding, then fraud has likely occurred.
Know how to protect your interests
A will can be a valuable estate planning tool, but only if it’s used properly. If you want to learn more about how to create an effective estate plan or how to contest a problematic one, then please continue to read our website and educate yourself as much as possible on applicable law.