To have great fortunes is challenging to attain. It’d take years of hardship to secure financial stability. Even so, for those working hard to earn wealth, not just for themselves but for those they care about, the adversities they have to face are worth it.
Before an individual passes away, that person may spell out desires to what will happen to the owned estate through a will. It may also include their wishes for who will take care of their children and keep items that may not be that expensive but have sentimental value.
A will may appear absolute, but there are instances when it's right to contest this legal document for invalidity and other considerations. Check out when and how to challenge a will:
Last Will and Testament Validity
A will is a legal document indicating a testator's desire to own the property once they pass away. To make a valid will, it must be:
♦ In Writing
It may be good if the will maker makes a will with their writing because it shows their involvement in the legal document. Still, other entities interested in taking over the will maker's property may end up copying the handwriting. One may contest the validity of a will if a witness saw someone else make the document using similar handwriting as of the property owner.
Aside from this, an opinion from a handwriting expert may support cases about contesting wills & dispute claims by tediously observing then identifying that the will may be similar to the authentic handwriting of the property owner but written by another entity. There may also be instances when other witnesses show up and provide the actual legal document that the property owner wrote.
♦ Signed by the Will Maker
A sign indicates a person's authorization over a legal document. It may also serve as personal identification. It may sound unique, but other entities can copy someone's signature, too. A handwriting expert may determine that a signature is forged depending on pen lifts, smoothness of ink curves, and pen pressure and changes.
♦ Will Maker Must Be 18 Years Old and Above
Most places worldwide recognize 18 years of age as the proper age of a person for validating legal documents because the given period for a lot of countries is enough for an individual to have self-awareness. Watch the video below to learn more.
♦ Witnessed by at Least Two People or the Spouse of the Will Maker
A witness may help prove the validity of a legal document. However, other entities may use their witnesses to spread deceit. Without enough evidence, their testimonies will remain as hearsays.
♦ Have a Testamentary Capacity
A testator needs to understand the written will’s legal effect on their property. It should have a comprehensive list of their assets and be mindful of them as well as the names of their beneficiaries. For will makers with a vast amount of fortune to share, it could also mean a lot of matters to consider and handwriting to make. For that, the testator must be collected enough to express their will accordingly. Mental illnesses may hinder a testator's decision-making and prevent them from giving a portion of their estate to those they truly want.
♦ Wasn't Forced or Manipulated
A will should be a legal document that can help people share their property with their desired beneficiaries. However, if the will is made by the actual owner out of other entities' manipulation or threats, it won't help express the property owner's true wishes materialize at all.
Someone's fortune may appear tempting for dangerous individuals or groups to take for themselves. They may do so not just by stealing accessories from a property but also by stirring fear in the property owner or spreading lies to make a will that’ll legally transfer their inheritance to them. Substantial evidence that may prove other entities' involvement of exploitation to the testator can contest a will before a probate court.
It may not be mandatory, but a notarized legal document can be a piece of good evidence indicating that a will is authentic. In addition, a family lawyer may also aid the testator spell out their wishes and bear the burden of sharing the will maker's property to their constituents aside from representing their client's actual wants in court.
How to Challenge a Will?
There may be instances when the will maker hasn't included other dependents to their will. For that, a person may claim a share of the testator's property by justifying that they're indeed the will maker's dependents and deserve consideration. Extended members of the will maker's family can also be potential heirs.
Likewise, there may be instances when the will is valid but includes minor beneficiaries. Entities that aren't 18 years old yet may benefit from a will maker's will, but the estate that they get has to be taken care of by a guardian. Nevertheless, here are the things you should do to challenge a will:
♦ Consult an Estate Attorney or Your Family Lawyer
Getting an attorney may be expensive and optional, but having one by your side may increase your chances of justifying your claim. A family lawyer practices family law and understands the law. They may represent you in court and inform you of the actions that you should take to win the case.
♦ File a Case in the Probate Court
A probate court can review cases about wills and administer estates. You can fill out forms that you need to initiate the case proceedings. To justify your suit, you may need to accumulate vital pieces of evidence, testimonies, and a persuasive claim.
A will is a legal document that can help people express their wishes for the property they worked on. However, it may also be subject to unjust motives by other entities who want to get the owner's property. Challenging a will may also include defending the authentic testament from other documents that may suddenly show up to dispute claims. By contesting to an invalid will, you won't just get the share you deserve, but you’ll also make the testator's dying wishes come true. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you plan and prepare.