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What Are the Grounds for Challenging a Will?

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Processes involved in challenging a will can be difficult to go through. Wills are drawn up for the last wishes of the deceased party, and the court usually uses it as written, but some situations will allow for changes. What is done can depend on the mental status of the person when they made the will and many other elements. Here are some more important facts about grounds for challenging a will.

Sound Mind and Memory

The person's mental and legal ability is called testamentary capacity and is a major requirement for challenging a will. The applicant must be 18 years old because in most cases a minor doesn't understand everything involved in forming a legal will. To prove the person was not of sound mind when the will was created, several items must be understood. Some of these considerations include the following points.

  • Does the person writing the will know who the beneficiaries are (the ones the will are for)?
  • Does the person understand the value of the property?
  • Does the person understand how to dispose of the property as desired?

These are just a few of the points that could prove the person was not of sound mind at the time the will was formatted.

Holographic Wills

State law vary concerning holographic wills, and many states have strict guidelines before such wills are considered usable or valid. A holographic will must be written by the deceased, or the testator, and a will will not be accepted if it is type-written. Some states require the will to be dated and will require a minimum of two witnesses to verify that the writing is that of the testator. A holographic will is the easiest type of will to challenge.

Procured by Fraud

Manipulation can be a big factor and can cause an individual to leave property or money to individuals who probably shouldn't receive these rewards. For example, someone with greed in mind can gain a position of trust with the person forming the will; therefore, undue influence is grounds for challenging the written will. The will could be proven fraudulent and considered a forgery because true feelings were not displayed; the entire episode was for personal gain.

These are some of the most crucial factors that can be grounds for challenging a will. It is important to understand the rules and regulations in your state. It is also advisable to hire an attorney that handles wills on a daily basis. Your family's future could depend on new legislation that you as a private person would not realize were important for your case. Contact an attorney such as Jolein A. Harro, P.C. for more information.