A last will and testament is a legal document that allows individuals to clearly outline their final wishes and divvy up their assets to the beneficiaries they designate. In most cases, wills are read, and assets are distributed without issue. However, there are times when something in the will may not seem like it adequately expresses your loved one’s wishes. In these cases, you may be able to contest the will with help from your Dallas probate attorney. However, there are a few key signs you’ll want to watch for that will tell you whether contesting the will is a good idea.
There’s a More Recent Will Available
It’s normal for people to create several versions of their will over the course of their lives. They may need to update their beneficiaries or add provisions for a new property that they hadn’t acquired when they created the original document. Whatever the case, the more wills there are, the more likely it is that there will be some confusion during the probate process. If you know that your loved one created a more recent will than the one currently in probate, you may be able to contest it.
The Witnesses Have an Interest in the Estate
For wills to be legally valid, they must typically be signed by two witnesses. These witnesses cannot have an inheritance interest in the estate. This is done to ensure that the provisions outlined in the will are the wishes of your loved one, not the individuals who stand to benefit from the estate. If the witnesses on your loved one’s will are set to inherit anything, you may have grounds to contest the will.
Your Loved One Did Not Have the Mental Capacity to Update Their Will
For a will to be legally valid, the individual must have the mental capacity to make any changes to their will and fully understand what they’re signing. If you know that your loved one was incapacitated at the time that the current will was signed or have reason to believe that they were coerced into updating their will, you may be able to contest it.
You Believe the Current Will Is a Fraud
Though it’s rare, some individuals can try to get fake or fraudulent wills entered into probate so that they can more directly benefit from the estate. If you believe the current will is fraudulent or know that your loved one’s actual wishes go against what’s expressed in the current will, you may have grounds to contest it.
Contesting a Will Ensures That Your Loved One’s Wishes Are Honored Correctly
Your loved one’s will should speak to their final wishes and ensure that their property and assets go to the people they wanted them to. If you believe you have grounds to contest a will or just want to explore the possibility, don’t wait. Speak with an experienced Dallas probate attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the easier it will be to contest the will and ensure that your loved one’s actual wishes are followed.
Schedule a consultation with the team at Norris & Weber today. Our experienced probate attorneys will review your case and help you decide on the best course of action.