A person’s last will and testament is a document that carries great importance during a person’s life. The last will and testament is in many cases is a person’s last statement to their family, and friends after death. A will is a document that if executed properly, determines how a person’s property is distributed after death. The last will and testament establishes inheritance rights. However, to have a binding effect the will must first be probated. The court must approve of the will meaning that the court has found that the will is valid.
Procedurally, a last will and testament has very few requirements to be valid. The will has to be in writing and signed. The testator (person signing the will), must be 18 years or over, has mental abilities, and two witnesses must be present. A valid last will and testament may be even easier if written in the testator’s own handwriting.
The above being true, bitter will disputes occur between family members, friends and entities. Will contests can become complicated. Although many will contests have common themes, they involve unique facts and issues. Will disputes may involve disputes between; children and entities, the first family’s children and the second family’s children, a new spouse and decedent’s children and many other different scenarios.
The issues that may be contested by the above parties include: undue influence, lack of capacity, technical defects, and allegations of forgery.
- Undue influence: This situation arises when a person has been controlled or dominated by another person.
- Lack of capacity: the deceased person did not have proper capacity to sign the will at the time he or she signed the will.
- Technical defects: The failure to conform to legal requirements of a valid will.
- Conflicting wills: The person signed multiple wills, or amendments to wills.
- Forgery: The deceased person was not actually the person that signed the will.
Were you wrongfully disinherited? Do you wish to contest the provisions of a will? It is unfortunate when inheritance issues arises creating conflict, and for the best interest of the family a will contest is necessary. If you believe that you have been wrongfully disinherited, that your loved one was suffering from undue influence, lacked capacity or for any other reason believe that your loved one’s will is not valid call Clifford Swayze at 512-335-5245 for a consultation today.