Washington residents who have taken the prudent step of creating their estate plan should be able to feel confident that their plans will be executed as they have outlined. However, that may not necessarily happen so easily in all cases. There are some specific situations in which people may be able to file legitimate contests to a person's will. Understanding these is important to ideally prevent from being in this situation.
As explained by The Balance, one area of concern includes the potential that the person who created the will was in some manner forced to do so by another person, quite likely someone who is set to receive a reasonable share of the inheritance. This is referred to as undue influence. Another point that may justify a will being contested is when the person who developed the will did not have the mental capacity to actually do so. For example, a person with advanced dementia or Alzheimer's may not have the judgement necessary to make some estate planning decisions.
Creating a will requires certain steps to be followed and when these are not, a will may be deemed invalid. For example, every will must be signed and witnessed per the legal guidelines if it is to be valid.
If you would like to learn more about the different situations that may be used as grounds to initiate a contest to a person's last will and testament, please feel free to visit the estate planning conflict page of our Washington will and trust website.