Following the reading of a will, perhaps you felt deeply disappointed about what your relative did or did not leave to you.
You may believe the inheritance is not consistent with what he once told you he wanted you to have. Should you challenge the will? Here are four common reasons for doing so.
1. Questionable mental capacity
The person creating the will, known as the testator, must be mentally competent and capable of understanding what he or she is signing. Evidence that the testator suffers any form of dementia or is dealing with head trauma will likely make the will unenforceable in court.
2. Undue influence
Those with self-serving motives in mind might prey on elderly people, often exerting undue influence over their financial affairs. This kind of person can also convince a senior to change his or her will so that the results turn out in favor of the opportunist.
3. Possible forgery
The question of forgery sometimes arises. If the will is not signed or if the signature appears to be a forgery, the court may declare the document invalid.
4. Outdated document
If the deceased created a new will, the new document voids the original will.
Probate laws apply
Keep in mind that not everyone qualifies to challenge a will. To begin with, you must have a valid legal reason to do so. You must also have standing; that is, you must be someone named in the will or someone who may gain or lose something if the court determines the will is invalid. If you feel you have received unfair treatment, explore legal avenues to help you decide whether to go forward with a challenge.