A will forms one of the most pivotal parts of any estate plan. This legal instrument allows the testator to dictate who assets go to upon their death. Not only that, but it can make provisions for who will be your child’s legal guardian should you pass away.
Nonetheless, a will is only effective if it is legally written. It is not uncommon for a will to be challenged before or during probate. Here are two common reasons why.
The competency of the testator
Ultimately, a will is a legally binding instrument. Parties to such instruments are not only expected to have the required legal capacity, such as being of age. They are also expected to understand the consequences of the document in full.
After all, a will is supposed to outline the true wishes of the testator. If the testator was not of sound mind at the time the document was drafted, then its legitimacy could be questioned in court.
Potential coercion of the testator
It’s a sad but true statement that money can bring out the worst in people. Friends, family members or caregivers may get closer to the testator once they have caught wind that they have a valuable estate. In some cases, pressure can be applied on the testator to draft or modify the terms in favor of someone who is asserting undue influence. This is unlawful and could give rise to a will contest.
There are numerous reasons why a will can be challenged. This is something you want to avoid. The best plan for helping to ensure that your will holds up is to have legal guidance.