Did your deceased relative promise to include you in their last will but they didn’t? Or are you an estranged son who felt left out of your deceased parent’s will? If you feel that you should be part of a person's will, you can contest it in court. But read the following legal grounds for challenging a will before proceeding with the legal process:
1. Ignoring State Law
According to probate lawyers in Denver, each state in the US has specific laws governing last will and testament matters. In some states, for instance, a Testator and at least two witnesses must be in the same room at the time of signing the will. If you can prove that the will wasn’t signed in accordance with particular state laws, it is a strong reason to invalidate the will.
2. Lack of Capacity to Sign
Commonly used when the Testator had grave health conditions before passing, this ground to invalidate a will is somewhat difficult to prove. As long as your deceased loved one understood the will and had the capacity to sign it at the time of signing, their last will and testament will be deemed valid. Even if they have signs of dementia before passing, it’s hard to prove that they lacked the capacity to sign at the time of signing. However, you can still use this legal ground if you have the witnesses’ testimonials to support your argument.
3. Undue Influence
Do you have proofs that your loved one was pressured by another relative to sign the will? If yes, then you can challenge the validity of the will using the undue influence as a ground. However, you must prove that the pressure was extreme, causing the Testator to lose free will during the time of signing. Threats, nagging, and verbal abuse are often not enough to prove extreme pressure, says a number of estate lawyers.
Apart from knowing the possible legal grounds you may use, you must also consult with an attorney who handles last will and testament matters. With a professional help, you will have a better chance of claiming the sufficient benefits from your deceased loved one’s estate.