No Matter The Legal Issue, It’s Not Just Our Duty To Help You,
It’s Our Mission

3 reasons your will may be contested

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Probate

When planning your estate, your hope and intention is to better ensure the smooth running and distribution of your assets according to your wishes after you pass away. One of the primary tools used to achieve this is a will, which outlines how you want your property and possessions to be distributed among your beneficiaries.

However, despite your best efforts, there are instances where your will may be contested. The following are three reasons why this might occur.

Lack of testamentary capacity

Your will may be contested if there are doubts about your mental capacity at the time of drafting and signing the document. Testamentary capacity refers to your ability to understand the nature and extent of your assets, comprehend who would typically inherit from your estate and make rational decisions about how to distribute your property. If it’s argued that you lacked the mental capacity to comprehend these factors due to factors such as dementia, cognitive impairment or being under the influence of medication, your will could be challenged.

Undue influence

If there is evidence that someone exerted undue influence over you during the creation or modification of your will, it may be contested. Undue influence occurs when someone uses coercion, manipulation or pressure to sway your decisions regarding the distribution of your assets in their favor. This often involves situations where a close family member, caregiver or other trusted individual takes advantage of their relationship with you to unfairly influence your testamentary decisions.

Fraud or forgery

In the event your will is tampered with, forged or contains fraudulent information, it becomes vulnerable to contestation. Fraud or forgery in relation to a will can take various forms, including the fabrication of signatures, alteration of provisions or the inclusion of false statements. Such actions undermine the integrity of the document and can significantly impact the intended distribution of assets.

If you’re considering drafting a will, seeking legal guidance can help ensure that it is carefully crafted to minimize the risk of being contested and to accurately reflect your intentions and wishes regarding the distribution of your assets.