Trust and Estate Litigation

When Can You Contest a Will?

As trust and estate litigation lawyers, we are often asked about situations when a will could be contested. If you are in a situation where the validity of a will is in question, it’s important to have trust and estate litigation representation that you can count on. The team at the Yee Law Group is just a phone call away at 916-927-9001.

There are four legal grounds on which a person might contest a will:

  1. The Will Signing Didn’t Meet State Laws

If the will isn’t signed in accordance with the laws in your state, the will might not be valid. This is one reason why it may be helpful to hire a trust and estate litigation lawyer to help you when you’d like to contest a will.

The laws vary from state to state, but in many cases, the person signing the will needs to be in a room with witnesses. You may want to consult with a lawyer to determine what the legal requirements are in your state. This is one of the main reasons a will may be found invalid, so if you suspect this is the case, it may be worth pursuing.

  1. Testator Lacked Testamentary Capacity

A testator is the legal term for the person signing the will. Testamentary capacity means that the testator understands the value of their assets, who should inherit their assets, and the legality of signing a will. Each state has their own laws that specify when a person doesn’t have the testamentary capacity to sign their will.

In this case, the witnesses who were in the room when the will was signed, along with the testator’s medical records, will be important pieces of evidence when determining if the will may be contested.

  1. Testator Was Influenced into Signing the Will

Unfortunately, some older individuals may be at risk for being influenced into doing something they wouldn’t normally do. In this situation, someone could pressure the testator to sign the will through threats, abuse, or manipulating the situation.

In trust and estate litigation, this influence isn’t always easy to prove. You may need to show that the individual paid for the will, discussed provisions of the will with the testator’s attorney, or isolated the testator from family and friends.

  1. The Will Was Fraudulently Signed

A will may be fraudulent if the testator was told they were signing some other document but it was actually their will. In this case, the witnesses who saw the will being signed would need to be asked what they thought the individual was signing. Fraud may be difficult to prove, but in some cases, the will may still be considered invalid if it wasn’t signed properly.

If you need to contest a will, hire a trust and estate litigation law firm you can trust at the Yee Law Group by calling 916-927-9001 today.