One of the most difficult times a family can endure is when a loved one, in this case a parent, passes away. It’s especially difficult when the death causes riffs between family members. These riffs can be caused over a variety of reasons. If you’re part of a family that’s considering contesting a parent’s will, then it’s very important to understand the complexities of the entire process and a few reasons why it happens.
Contact our family law attorneys in McAllen for more information about contesting a parent’s will today!
Contesting a Will
Under probate law, wills can only be contested by the deceased’s spouse(s), children and others listed in the document. Many times, family members contest wills for various reasons. What most aren’t aware of is that this process can be lengthy and expensive. If you’re planning on contesting a will, be sure to know what the process is like beforehand. It’s important to do this to fully decide if the effort is worth it.
Why Are Wills Contested?
If an issue arises during a will signing, there may be grounds for contesting it. In most states, two witnesses must be present when a will is signed. This usually includes a family member and an attorney. If an issue regarding the validity of the signature or the state of mind of the person signing it come into play, legal help should be sought. We’ll go more into this below:
- Mental Capacity – Many wills are challenged if a member of the deceased’s family feels that he/she was not in the right state of mind when they made their signature. This can include a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other mentally incapacitating condition.
- Fraud – When a parent signs a document he or she believes to be a will – and it isn’t – a declaration of fraud can be used to challenge it. One example is signing a different type of contract, such as a real estate agreement, while believing that it is their will. This usually occurs to elderly people or those suffering from a mental condition.
- Influence – Another reason that many wills are challenged is due to a person signing the document while being heavily influenced by another party. In many cases, this other party can be a family member or other person close to the will’s owner. This is why it’s extremely important to have an attorney oversee the process to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
Providing Peace of Mind
If your parent has recently passed away and you feel that their will needs to be closely examined by an expert, then contact our probate attorneys in McAllen. We understand that this situation can be sensitive and highly-emotional. Gain the peace of mind you need by reaching out to us today to help you!