A will is a central feature of any estate plan. Without one, survivors lack instructions on the desired distribution of assets. A will also might contain information on guardianship and how to handle incapacitation. For these reasons and more, they are critical.
Occasionally, the validity of a will is questionable. There are a host of reasons why someone could make a challenge.
The sound mind argument
As we age, cognitive abilities can diminish. Some endure Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia in their later years. These individuals are no longer capable of making important decisions. Signing a will while suffering from a degenerative mental condition can invalidate it.
The secondary will argument
The existence of more than one will is an obvious problem. Courts typically honor the most current version. Sometimes, the creation date of one or both is unclear. Investigations are necessary under these circumstances. Even then, the matter might not reach a clear resolution.
The improper formation argument
Legal rules need strict observation during the creation of wills. For example, each needs to name an estate administrator. The lack of one can bring it into question. There are also state laws to which wills must conform. Failing to adhere to these mandates can trigger invalidation.
When someone contests a will, it has the potential to become a messy situation. Besides taking a long time to resolve, it can be a financial drain. Not to mention, survivors must live with an unsettling feeling. Be vigilant about making sure your final request adheres to every parameter.