After being involved in a serious car accident, I really believed that my insurance company would take care of everything. It wasn't until I finally received their settlement offer that I realized they were not on my side at all. This is when I got wise and consulted a personal injury lawyer. It was the best decision I could have made. Thanks to my attorney, not only did I learn a lot about personal injury law, but I actually got the compensation that I needed and deserved. I made a lot of mistakes after my accident, but I also learned a lot along the way. It is my hope that this blog will allow other accident victims to learn from common mistakes and get the information they need to be successful in their own personal injury claims.
Despite what you might see on television, it is not commonplace for wills to be contested. However, if you feel that a loved one's will should be invalidated by the courts, you need to state a sound reason for why. Here are some possible reasons that could apply to your particular situation.
Your Loved One Was Unduly Influenced
If you believe that your loved one was unduly influenced, you could ask the court to invalidate the will. Undue influence would apply if your loved one was manipulated in some way to sign the will. For instance, if your loved one was threatened to sign the will or face injury, this is considered undue influence.
Your Loved One Was Mentally Incapable of Making a Will
One of the legal requirements for a person to make a will is that he or she is mentally stable and able to make the decisions included in the document. However, if your loved one was not mentally capable of making this decision, the will might not be legal. For instance, if your loved one suffered from advanced Alzheimer's disease, he or she would not be able to legally make a will.
It can sometimes be difficult to prove that a loved one was mentally incapable of making the decisions needed though. What might seem like mental instability to you, might not to the court system. As long as it can be proved that your loved one knew what he or she was stating in the will and signing, it can hold up in court. Even if your loved one was suffering from occasional bouts of forgetfulness, the court might still stand by the will.
The Will Was Not Notarized
One common misconception about wills is that they must be notarized to be valid. This is not necessarily true. Some states do not require that a will be notarized to be valid. However, the witnesses to the will might be required to testify in court later that they saw your loved one sign the will. As long as they are willing to offer their sworn testimony, it is unlikely that a challenge to the will on these grounds will succeed. However, in some states, such as Louisiana, the will has to be signed. If that is the case in your state, you can challenge it.
If you are considering a challenge to a loved one's will, it is a good idea to talk to a professional estate planning attorney. The attorney is most familiar with your state's particular laws and can help you determine if a challenge is worthwhile.Share