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When you might want to challenge someone's will

When someone close to you or related to you passes away, you can find yourself struggling to come to terms with the loss. To make matters more complicated, you might learn that the person who passed away left a will you take issue with.

In these situations, you can find it very difficult to assess your legal options, especially in light of the emotional obstacles with which you may be confronted. While you may be tempted to challenge a will, you should know that doing so is not always possible or wise. Below, we list some of the legitimate reasons why people challenge wills to help you understand if it could be in your best interests to do so.

These reasons include:

  • Having concerns about your loved one's mental capacity at the time he or she created or updated the will
  • Finding multiple versions of the will
  • Finding only a very outdated will
  • Having suspicions that someone manipulated or tricked your loved one into changing a will to benefit the manipulative party
  • Believing that the will was forgedĀ 
  • Discovering that the will is not a valid legal document
  • Learning that the will contains illegal or unenforceable clauses

Under these and similar circumstances, you may very well have grounds to challenge a will to have it or certain clauses voided.

In situations when you just disagree with the terms or feel shortchanged by a will, you likely would not have sufficient cause to seek a successful challenge. You should also understand that not just anyone can challenge a will; you have to be the decedent's spouse, parent, child, relative or someone else with a valid interest in the execution of the will.

Before you decide one way or the other in terms of challenging a will, it can be critical that you first consult an experienced estate planning attorney. With legal guidance, you can learn more about the grounds for submitting a challenge and your legal options.

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