4 reasons to contest a will

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION - Estate Administration

A will is put under immense scrutiny in court to ensure that the legal document is a genuine expression of the testator’s intent. If something seems amiss with a will, then it’s possible for some parties, such as beneficiaries and heirs to challenge the contents or authenticity of a will. 

It may be necessary to contest a will to ensure that a testator’s last wishes are fulfilled. There are a few grounds on which a will can be challenged. Here’s how:

There was undue influence during the drafting of a will

If a testator was coerced into signing a will, then there could be undue influence. This typically happens when the person influencing the testator stands to gain from the estate. However, undue influence doesn’t reflect the testator’s true desires.

Multiple drafts of a will were discovered

The probate process can become complicated if there are multiple drafts of a will discovered. If it’s unclear which version of a will was last drafted, then there may be reason to make a dispute.

A testator did not have a testamentary capacity 

One condition of a valid will is that the testator must have had testamentary capacity. Lack of testamentary capacity means that the testator did not have the mental state caused by, for example, dementia or insanity to draft a will. If a will was dated after the testator’s condition was diagnosed, then the will may not be valid. 

Missing witness signatures 

Another condition that must be met for a will to be valid is two witness signatures. If a will is missing two witness signatures in addition to the testator’s signature, then the will isn’t valid. 

If you believe that a will should be challenged, then it can help to learn about your legal options.