There are many reasons for a contested will, but some are more common than others. When beneficiaries are surprised at the contents of a will, they often contest it – whether it’s valid or not. There are four valid reasons a family member can contest a will and being familiar with these is important not only as an heir, but if you’re drafting your own estate plan too.
If the will wasn’t signed in accordance with your state’s laws, you can contest the will. Every state has their own stringent standards for execution and if the attorney or your loved one didn’t follow them, the will could be contested by family members.
If the individual who created the will was incompetent to do so, you may have a case for testamentary incapacity. There is a level of mental capacity required in order for a last will to be valid.
This involves the relationship between your loved one and an individual who can force your loved one to sign and agree to an estate plan they wouldn’t agree to on their own.
The last common, legal reason to contest a will is fraud. This can occur in numerous forms including a forged will or estate planning documents being added in – in between the times the will is signed.