An estate plan outlines your loved one’s wishes for what will happen with their assets when they pass away. It can also cover other areas, such as who will make decisions for them if they are unable to and what types of medical care they are willing to undergo toward the end of their life. There are times when these plans aren’t clear or when there is reason to believe that they don’t accurately reflect the person’s wishes.
When there is a question about the validity of these documents, you will have to turn to the court to determine how to proceed. Probate litigation is the area of law that enables people to contest wills and other estate planning points, but this can only be done by a person who meets certain legal requirements and when there is a valid reason to contest it.
Who can contest a will?
A person who has an interest in the will can contest it. This means that they are either a party in the will, were in a previous version of the will or that they are in the intestate line set for when a person passes away without a will.
Some people who could challenge a will opt not to because they don’t want to drive a wedge between them and their loved ones. Instead, they might try to work things out privately to ensure that the decedent’s wishes were followed.
What are some reasons for a will challenge?
There are a few reasons why you can challenge a will. A person may have been unduly influenced when they wrote the terms of the will. This means that someone was pressuring them to set certain terms for the document.
Another possibility is that they weren’t mentally capable of entering into a legal contract. This might be due to dementia or a similar medical condition. In order to have the mental capacity to write out the estate plan, they must be able to understand what the terms of the plan mean. If they can’t comprehend what they are doing, they can’t enter into the contract.
Think carefully when reviewing your loved one’s estate plan. Empower yourself with legal knowledge to ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to get the situation resolved.