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The basics of contesting a will

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Estate Planning

Estate administration covers a lot of ground and most people will need an understanding of many different aspects of this topic. For example, at some point, you might need to consider contesting a will.

To get started, it helps to understand when you have the ability to contest a will.

The importance of legal standing

According to information from NerdWallet, only certain people can contest a will. If you are a beneficiary of the will, either a current will or in some cases a previous will, you have legal standing to file a petition with the courts. Also, in cases where a person died intestate, without a will, you might have legal standing if you had a relationship with the deceased that is recognized by laws that govern inheritance.

If you have legal standing, you might consider contesting a will if you suspect unfairness. This might cover a number of scenarios:

  • The will did not leave equal shares to children
  • The will had major changes in recent months
  • The maker of the will had questionable mental capacity

The process of contesting a will

Once you have established legal standing in the case, the next step often involves filing a petition. You should also consider the strengths of your case. In some cases involving beneficiaries, a contestation of a will might not offer much chance of success. The strongest cases hinge on issues of mental capacity or the failure to sign the will or the presence of coercion.

Professional legal representation will help your case. You will gain a better understanding of the merits of your case as well as getting help with the legal process.