Would you want to contest a will? If this is the case, you need an experienced wills and estate lawyer to prove your case. Below is an excerpt discussing how a wills and estate lawyer can help you contest a will.
Legality Of The Will
You can contest a will on the grounds that it does not meet your state's legal requirements. Typically, the lawyer could use the following arguments:
- That the will contains contradicting clauses. For example, take a case where an asset was allocated to more than one beneficiary.
- That the testator did not have witnesses to countersign the will. Remember, the witnesses should sign the document at the same time.
- That the testator made more than one will. If this is the case, it would be difficult to decide which will reflects the testator's true intentions.
- That the testator's rights changed after making the will. For instance, take a situation where the testator sold off some of his or her assets or suffered a divorce.
Lack Of Testamentary Capacity
To make this argument, your lawyer will need medical records to prove that the testator was not of sound mind when writing the will. Ideally, they must prove that the testator was unaware of their assets and the beneficiaries of the estate. For instance, take a case where the testator suffered from illnesses such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease that affects their mental wellness.
It happens when a beneficiary or third party coerces the testator into writing the will in his or her favour. For example, a primary caregiver could withhold medical services until the testator awards them with assets or cash.
There are instances when the testator is tricked into signing a will. Your lawyer must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the testator did not have a clue that he or she was signing a will.
Contesting a will can be quite challenging since the testator will be dead. Therefore, your lawyer must be experienced in such matters. Conduct some background research to ascertain the lawyer's credentials, winning history, and how he or she treats clients. If possible, ask the lawyer to use a no-win no-fee policy. It prevents you from incurring legal expenses until the lawyer wins your case.
A will can be contested if it does not meet the set legal standards, if the testator lacked testamentary capacity, or was under undue influence when writing the will. Remember to follow the recommended tips when hiring a contested wills solicitor to challenge the will.