Challenging a Will May Not Be Best

If you feel as though you did not receive the proper levels of compensation from a loved one in the estate administration process, it is possible to challenge the will. Challenging the will can be done if you can prove that the will was not legally developed, the person writing the will was not mentally capable of making the decisions they made on the will, or if someone else influenced the person that wrote the will. If this can be established, there is the opportunity to have more property left to you than originally detailed in the will. However, by challenging the will you may also risk receiving nothing at all.

Why Challenging a Will is Risky

There are three ways that a will can be challenged. These challenges will go through probate court, whereby state law will determine what you may receive as a result of your challenge.

Challenge a will by showing:

  1. Lack of capacity. In order to be valid, it must be proven that the writer of the will was in sound mind when the will was made and met the minimum age requirement of the state. To demonstrate lack of capacity, you may be required to present medical evidence that proves the deceased did not understand their property or know of their heirs.
  2. Undue influence. Showing that the will was made with the influence of another person can work to invalidate the will. This is often seen in instances where one child receives a much larger share of the estate than others due to a secret alteration of the will.
  3. Fraud. Fraud can occur if extra pages were inserted after a will was signed or if the deceased's signature was forged on the documents. Further, if there is any evidence that the will was not completed to the utmost legality, it may be rejected by probate court.

If you are challenging the will solely because you feel as though you should have received a larger inheritance without being able to prove the above reasons that a will would be invalid, than you risk losing all the inheritance you would have received.

Categories: Probate