When Seattle residents are left with the will of a loved one, it's meant to be a reflection of their wishes and desires, speaking for them when they're no longer able to. Unfortunately, it's possible for wills to be a reflection of someone else's intentions instead, leaving you in a tricky situation.
Washington State Legislature determines that you have four months to act if you disagree with a will for any reason. The most common reasons for wanting to contest a will include:
- The will not reflecting what you know of the owner's wishes
- The will not be written in a legally valid way
- The will showing the potential of undue influence
If a will includes unusual requests or demands, it's possible that the writer was a victim of undue influence. It's also possible that the writer was not in their right mind at the time, and that vulnerability could have been used against them. Changes made to a will because of undue influence, pressure, or even blackmail are all valid reasons to have a will invalidated.
When you decide to contest a will, you will need to prove to the court why the will should be invalidated. Proof of manipulation, abuse, or other forms of coercion are powerful tools here. So is any other evidence pointing to the fact that the writer was not able to think clearly.
When a loved one's will doesn't match up with what you know of them or what you were expecting, all possibilities should be investigated. You may wish to seek legal counsel to determine what to do if you do notice suspicious circumstances.