Most people create wills to protect their assets and their future beneficiaries, but what happens when someone disagrees with a will’s contents and wants to contest it legally in probate? The Balance notes that if the creation of a will does not meet all of the legal provisions, the courts may deem it invalid.
Individuals who want to contest a will must prove one or several reasons exist in order for a court to throw out a will, and knowing what they are before proceeding may help these detractors proceed with their claims.
Infirm mental state of the testator
Those who contest a will may submit that the testator, or the creator of the will, was not mentally sound when he or she signed the document. However, some states may still allow that the testator was mentally sound, even if some signs of mental illness, such as dementia, were present at the time. Those who wish to contest a will on these grounds may require the aid and knowledge of a physician to help them back up their claims.
While will fraud is not very common, it can occur when someone tricks another into signing it. This may occur with elderly individuals who do not understand what they signed or why or trust the person who presented them with the document. If the fraud victim can testify in court, this may solidify the contester’s claims.
A will may stall in probate when someone contests its contents. While each case is different, it may take months or even years to sort truth from fiction, so those who choose to contest a will in probate may want to consider both time and expense before proceeding.