Contesting a will involves disputing its validity upon the testator’s demise. Typically, most people who contest a will believe they should have been included as beneficiaries and weren’t. However, even named beneficiaries can contest a will for various reasons.
If you’re thinking of contesting a will, it’s crucial to have evidence to back up your claims. Simply having suspicions, a hunch or a sense of unfairness may not suffice. Exploring instances where beneficiaries have valid reasons to contest a will can help you choose the best course of action for your situation.
Lack of testamentary capacity
One common reason that beneficiaries contest a will is the alleged lack of testamentary capacity on the part of the testator. Testamentary capacity refers to the mental competence of an individual to understand the consequences of making a will. Beneficiaries may argue that the testator was not of sound mind at the time of creating the will, thereby questioning the validity of its contents.
Undue influence occurs when an individual exerts pressure on a testator, compelling them to make decisions against their own wishes. In cases where beneficiaries suspect undue influence, contesting the will can become a plausible course of action. Successfully proving undue influence demands substantial evidence. Beneficiaries must demonstrate that the influencer had a significant impact on the testator’s decisions, consequently overpowering their free will.
Instances of fraudulent activities can also be grounds for contesting a will. Beneficiaries may assert that a will was tampered with or that a testator’s signature was forged, leaving the document’s authenticity in question. Contesting a will due to fraud necessitates thorough investigation and presentation of concrete evidence. Forensic analysis of signatures and expert testimonies may be pivotal in establishing the fraudulent nature of the will.
If you’re a beneficiary with solid reasons to contest a will, you should know that there isn’t a one-fits-all legal solution and that each situation requires a personalized approach. Therefore, you should engage a legal team that can help you choose the best course of action for your unique circumstances.