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2 mistakes to avoid when contesting a will

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2023 | Estate Administration |

A will is a vital part of estate planning. It offers numerous advantages, from naming beneficiaries of an estate to stating medical wishes should one become incapacitated. When the testator dies, the execution of the will should follow. However, it can be contested on several grounds, including mental incapacity, improper execution and undue influence.

If you believe your loved one’s wishes are not included in a will, you can challenge it. Here are two mistakes to avoid during the process.

Acting late

When an executor enters the will into probate, the court will serve beneficiaries with a notice called a citation. Once you are notified, you can disagree with the appointment of the executor if you believe it wasn’t the testator’s choice, or you can accept it and then challenge the will. Either way, you should act sooner before the executor distributes the estate.

Not having enough evidence

Wills are crucial, so contesting them requires solid evidence. You need to gather adequate information that supports your grounds for the contest. For instance, if you claim that the testator lacked the mental capacity to make the will, perhaps they were on prescription drugs or their deathbed, you need to have documents that support this, such as medical records and statements from the testator’s doctors.

If the will was improperly executed, you need to prove this to the court. For example, if the testator didn’t have enough witnesses, get information from the few who were present. Further, if undue influence is your ground, you should find evidence of coercion. It may be helpful to find documents that show the testator’s sincere wishes.

Contesting a will can help you protect the wishes of your loved one. You should also get professional guidance to avoid costly mistakes.      

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