Estate Planning Lawyer
You want to make sure that your wishes get carried out after your death. You crafted a will along with your attorney, and as such, you believe that it will stand the test of time. However, is there a chance that someone will be able to challenge the will upon your death? Can your children or even a former spouse try and get more than what you have set aside for them? While challenging a will is difficult and highly unusual, it does happen. Take a look at the conditions under which someone may try to challenge your will after you’ve departed.
Claims You Were Not of Sound Mind
One of the most famous legal clauses in most wills testifies that you are “of sound mind and body” and making the will as such. However, some people may try and prove that you were not at full mental capacity when the will was created, especially if it is drastically different then a previous version. This scenario typically happens when former heirs feel like they were unjustly removed from the will and attempt to prove that you were declining when you revised it. For this bid to be successful, there has to be evidence that your mental health was declining steadily before and after you executed the will. Some people who may be called on to testify include the treating physician and the attorney present at the time the will was executed.
Claims Someone Unduly Influenced You
Your heirs or former heirs may believe that someone coerced you into making changes to your will in the months leading up to your death. One example of this has to do with children who believe a step parent purposely manipulated you to cut them out of the will. This scenario occurs, and adult children can become outraged if a new spouse somehow inherits the estate whereas before they were to split it. The adult children must prove in court that the new spouse placed undue influence on you to get you to make the changes.
The Will Is Not Properly Executed
An administrative error could allow someone you deleted from your will to come in and take a share. If a will is not dated correctly or is missing a witness signature, the entire document may be ruled invalid. A previous will, if one exists, will then come back into play and take its place.
Make sure that the people you love get what you want them to after your death. Go to a wills attorney in O’Fallon, MO and have the appropriate documents drafted and executed.
Thanks to the Legacy Law Center for their insight into estate planning and challenging a will.