Your first thought when you hear about someone challenging a will may be that the individual presenting the challenge can’t accept the decisions of the deceased.
Indeed, there are cases where someone feels as though he or she has been treated unfairly. Of course, that in itself does not render a will invalid by any stretch of the imagination. You have a right to leave inheritances as you see fit, and you have a right to disinherit people as you see fit.
The above being stated, there are times when a legitimate challenge is presented. To do this, you have to have specific grounds.
One of the accepted grounds would be fraud. Undue coercion is another grounds for a will challenge. In California, in order for a will to be valid it must be executed properly, so improper execution can be a ground for a challenge.
Another possibility is that of incapacity. Someone could challenge a will based on the contention that the testator was not of sound mind when he or she executed the document.
There is also the criminal act of forgery. Clearly, a forged will is not only invalid but the forger has committed a crime.
In the state of Tennessee, a man was recently arrested and charged with forging the last will of his father in an attempt to steal over $250,000. Two people allegedly witnessed the signing, and they are being charged with conspiracy to commit theft.
Anything can happen when people are motivated by financial gain. If you feel that you have a valid reason to challenge a will, the logical first step would be to discuss the details with a licensed estate planning attorney.
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