What is a Will and how is it Challenged?

A will is a legal document that states how a person wants their property to be split up after they die. It can be an important tool for estate planning and ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of.

But a will may not always reflect the true intentions of the person who made it (called the testator). Sometimes, a will may be challenged by someone who believes that the will is invalid or unfair. Challenging a will can be a complex and costly process, so it is important to understand the grounds and procedures for doing so.

There are several reasons why someone may want to challenge a will, such as:

The will was not properly executed.

The law requires that a will must be in writing, signed by the testator, and witnessed by at least two people who are not beneficiaries of the will. If any of these formalities are missing or defective, the will may be invalid.

The testator lacked testamentary capacity.

The law requires that the testator must be at least 18 years old and have sound mind when making a will. This means that they must understand the nature and extent of their property, the people who would inherit from them, and the consequences of making a will. If the testator was suffering from senility, dementia, insanity, or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may not have had the mental capacity to make a valid will.

The testator was subject to undue influence.

The law requires that the testator must make a will freely and voluntarily, without being coerced or manipulated by anyone. If someone exerted undue influence over the testator, such as by threatening, isolating, or deceiving them, they may have interfered with the testator’s free will and induced them to make a will that favors them over others.

The will was procured by fraud or forgery.

The law says that the will must be true to what the testator really wanted. If someone committed fraud or forgery to obtain or alter a will, such as by lying to the testator, impersonating them, or forging their signature, they may have violated the testator’s rights and intentions.

Challenging a will can be a difficult and emotional process that may affect your relationship with other family members and friends. Therefore, before you decide to challenge a will, you should consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer who can advise you on your rights and options and help you achieve your goals.

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