Meurer Law Offices, Denver, Colorado
A proverbial can of worms, will contests or challenges are formal objections questioning the validity of the document. Most contests are based on the belief that the will does not accurately reflect the final wishes or intent of the testator, the person who made the will, or that the document is otherwise invalid. Those involved must have standing to contest. They must be named in the will as a beneficiary or stand to inherit from the testator if the will was to be deemed invalid. At the Meurer Law Offices, we’ve had clients contest parts of wills, as well as the entire will start to finish.
While success rates are incredibly low, will contests are very common here in the United States. They are hard to prove, especially when indisputable facts must be presented to the court before the judge will be willing to consider changing the document. Grounds for contesting may include:
- Lack of testamentary capacity – This asserts that the testator did not have the mental capacity to understand the nature and amount of their assets, how the will works or that they were creating one, and who amongst their family and loved ones would ordinarily be designated as beneficiaries.
- Undue influence – This is where it’s believed that the testator was under the influence of another individual who used their power and trust to manipulate the outcomes, depriving the testator of free will and inserting their own objectives.
- Formalities observed – Basically, wills may be contested based on technicalities such as a lack of notarization, missing signatures or incorrect paperwork. This is why it’s very important to have legal representation when creating a will, especially if you move to a different state. Different jurisdictions might have different rules, so it’s worth having your will reviewed.
- Even more reasons – Will contests can also site insane delusion, duress, fraud and forgery as their basis.
If you are involved in will contests or other issues after the death of a loved one, the Meurer Law Offices can help you navigate the legal system and help you achieve a positive outcome.