When a loved one dies, their will represents the final wishes they wanted to share with you. Unfortunately, wills can be challenged in court and disputed by family members who feel that they were not given a fair share of an inheritance. For this legal action to be successful, an individual must have grounds on which to attack the validity of the will. Probate lawyers can help you determine if any of these five grounds exist in your situation and build a strong case against the will.
1. Undue Influence or Duress
This means that someone coerced or pressured your loved one into making decisions against their will or capacity at the time of writing the document. It may also mean that someone was taking advantage of them in a vulnerable state. A probate lawyer can look for evidence of physical or psychological manipulation that would suggest this kind of undue influence or duress.
2. Lack of Testamentary Capacity
This means that the testator (the person who made the will) did not have the mental capacity to make legal decisions at the time of writing it. This could be due to dementia, the depletion of cognitive functions, intoxication, or any other factor that may impair their ability to think clearly. Your lawyer can help you find proof that this condition existed and led to an invalid will being written.
3. Fraud or Forgery
Fraudulent activity occurs when someone alters an existing will without permission or creates a new one with false information. A probate lawyer can help you uncover any discrepancies in the will that may indicate intentional falsification or forgery.
4. Illegal Aspects
Probate lawyers can examine the document to determine if it violates any state laws or regulations. This could involve something like a clause that discriminates against certain individuals or distributes property unlawfully. If there are invalid clauses, the will could be found null and void from the point of initial execution.
5. Invalid Execution
The manner in which a will is written and signed is of vital importance and must follow strict guidelines set by the state to be legally valid. Your attorney can review the document and search for any indications that it was not performed with appropriate legal authority, such as multiple witnesses or a lack of signatures.
By working closely with a knowledgeable probate lawyer, you can uncover good grounds to build a strong case against an invalid will. This is an important step in ensuring that your loved one's final wishes are honored and their estate is distributed fairly to all rightful heirs. Contact probate lawyers to fight a will that disinherits you.
For more information, contact a probate lawyer near you.Share
22 December 2022