Throughout a testator’s lifetime, his/her estate will most often increase in both size and value. Due to this growth, the chances of family or friends contesting the will increases as well. Siblings, children, grandchildren, etc. may find that the assets given to them are not what they’d expected, or possibly they’d expected more. However, that isn’t the only form of will contesting that exists.
Common Contested Factors
The following is a list of the most common factors brought up during probate concerning a will:
- Beneficiaries disagreeing with their inheritances
- A beneficiary becomes upset that nothing in the will was left for him/her
- Claims of negligence are filed against the party who formulated the will due to a beneficiary disagreeing with the stipulations listed therein
- Disagreement amongst the executors of the will
- Beneficiaries mutually agreeing to file a claim against a trustee
- Beneficiaries filing a claim against the attorney who assisted with or formulated the will
- Beneficiaries alleging the testator was not of sound mind or was in some way incapacitated at the time the will was formulated
- Beneficiaries alleging the testator was under some form of duress during formulation of the will
- Beneficiaries alleging the testator was in some way unconsciously aware that he/she was being influenced into formulating the will in a certain way
- Allegations that the will is fraudulent
- Allegations the will was altered improperly or that alteration occurred after the passing of the testator
- The will being presented is not the final one
How To Prevent Contesting Of A Will
If the testator meets all legal requirements when formulating his or her will, then the chances of a beneficiary’s claim being upheld will be relatively low. If a party wishes to challenge the validity of a will, he/she must do so within a window of two to three months, depending on the state. Also, it is possible to challenge a will’s validity prior to the death of the testator. Only certain states allow this, such as Delaware, Alaska, North Dakota, Arkansas and Ohio.
If you wish to formulate a legally-binding and professionally written will, contact a wills and probate attorney from McAllen’s Barrera, Sanchez & Associates at 956.287.7555.