When is a will likely to be challenged?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Estate Planning |

There are numerous aspects of estate planning, but the most fundamental of these is the will. This document oversees the inheritance of your beneficiaries and it can also specify legal guardians for your young children.

Nonetheless, there are rules and procedures that must be followed for a will to be valid. If something doesn’t seem right with a will, then interested parties can bring a challenge through a will contest. When is this likely to occur?

When undue influence was present

A will is supposed to reflect the final wishes of the testator and nobody else. Sometimes, the person drafting the will may be in a vulnerable position, which leaves them open to undue influence. For example, an elderly person who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness may be suggestible to making changes to their will that suit a carer. While this is not an issue if it was done in a truly voluntary manner, if the carer asserted pressure on the testator it is likely to be deemed undue influence.

If there are signs of fraud

While it is quite rare, there have been occasions when wills have been forged. Even if the entire document has not been forged, a questionable signature could arouse suspicions of fraudulent activity. A will must reflect the true wishes of the testator and it is highly likely to be contested and even ruled out by the court if there are signs of forgery or fraud.

Getting your will right the first time around can help to prevent contests further down the line. One of the best ways to do this is by having legal guidance behind you when drafting estate planning documents.