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What can be valid reasons to contest a will during probate?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Estate Planning, Wills

Probate is often a complex process involving various parties, making it more challenging to navigate based on the circumstances. If the deceased left a will, it could provide direction on what to do with the estate. However, this document can also have different legal implications, possibly making it necessary for involved parties to question it.

Any person with interest in the estate can contest a will if they have a valid reason to do so, including the following:

  • Facts showing that the deceased was not in the proper mental state when they drafted the will
  • Evidence giving reason to believe that there was undue influence during the will’s creation
  • There are inconsistencies involving the will, potentially leading to forgery or fraud allegations
  • The will lacked specific components for it to be enforceable

These claims are often under the probate court’s jurisdiction, making it appropriate to raise the issue during the process. However, these contests should have a proper basis, following the correct procedure.

The party making the claim can begin by researching if the law has provisions to accommodate the objection and filing the petition to formalize it. The contesting party should also check if the will indicates any conditions that may risk their inheritance, such as no-contest clauses.

Contesting a will with caution

If the will includes instructions that seem out of the deceased’s character, you may feel compelled to suspect its validity. Still, it is best to seek legal guidance before formally contesting it. If there are provisions regarding these scenarios, there can be a chance for you to lose your inheritance. Legal counsel can help navigate these complications effectively, helping you take the most appropriate course of action.