Generally, when a person has a will, the will’s terms will be followed upon their death. However, there are certain things that could result in the wishes a will expresses being disregarded. One is if the will is challenged, and this challenge results in the will being found invalid.
Sometimes, after a person who formed a will passes away, family members challenge whether the person had the mental capacity to form the will. Lack of sufficient capacity is among the things that generally invalidates a will.
Having one’s wishes regarding after-death issues followed is the very purpose of having a will. So, among the things a person might want to do in connection to their will is to take steps to prevent mental capacity concerns from arising in connection to the creation of their will. One thing that could help with this is having a doctor do an examination of their mental health around the time they form the will, and including the report of the doctor’s findings with their estate plan. Such a report might help head off capacity-related will challenges in the future.
Now, challenges alleging mental incapacity are not the only types of challenges that could be brought against a will. There are a range of different things that could potentially endanger a will’s enforceability. So, the actions and steps a person takes when it comes to their will and other estate planning documents can have major impacts on whether the wishes they put in such documents will ultimately be followed. This is why it can be so important to do one’s estate planning with the guidance of a skilled attorney.
Source: USA Today, “5 ways to make a bulletproof will,” Alex Glenn, Sept. 24, 2016