A Few Reasons Why Someone With Standing Would Challenge A Will

Last week we talked about wills and who can legally challenge one. In that post, we talked about having "standing," which essentially means that you have a legitimate interest in the will. Once you have standing, you can challenge a will -- but why would you want to contest a will?

There are many reasons why an interested party with standing would mount a legal challenge to their loved one's will. However, just because you have a reason, even a legitimate one, that doesn't mean that your challenge will be successful. In fact, in most cases, a judge will allow a will to pass through because they don't want to manipulate or supersede a deceased person's last wishes.

Having said that, there are plenty of cases where wills have been struck down or partially changed as a result of a legal challenge. For example, what if the testator lacked the mental or testamentary capacity when creating or changing their will? What if someone exerted undue influence over the person to force a change in the will? What if fraudulent acts or forgery is involved? These circumstances absolutely qualify as grounds for a legal challenge to a will.

There are other, less common, factors that can be involved with a will that lead to a legal challenge. There may be another will that trumps the one being utilized. There may not have been enough witnesses to confirm the legitimacy of the will (two adult witnesses are required, in addition to the testator). Or, maybe the will isn't valid due to the state of residence of the individual.

Source: FindLaw, "Reasons to Challenge a Will," Accessed June 2, 2016

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