who can challenge a willWho can challenge a Will?

Everyone can’t challenge a Will. You may not be entitled to any money from an estate if Person A owes money and Person A dies without paying that debt. Your debts will likely be unpaid if you don’t meet the criteria. Most Wills pass without any challenges, and a Will can be challenged in a complicated way.

A Will can only be challenged by “interested persons.”

In the case of a deceased person, certain people are listed as “interested persons” in the Probate Code. The decedent is the “interested person.” This means that a decedent can be a child, an adult, an heir or spouse, a creditor (so that you might have a claim if they owe you money), and a devisee. A devisee refers to a person to whom real property is left in a Will.

A challenge to a person must have legal grounds.

Influence is one reason a Will may be challenged. These legal grounds can be used to challenge a Will if fraud, forgery, or someone has influenced the deceased to alter the Will. It could be a problem if at least two adult witnesses did not witness the Will signing. Some states don’t allow “holographic Wills,” which are Wills that are handwritten but not witnessed by two adults. This is true if there are multiple Wills and it is believed that another Will has precedence.

Will challengers must be “standing”

Standing is granted to a person who is a beneficiary or heir. A person who stands to lose if a Will is invalidated must class. If someone would have inherited money or property if their decedent died without a Will, they are entitled to claim to stand.

It is a problem if the person challenging a Will has less than 18 years of age.

The right to start legal proceedings is not available to minors. If a minor is trying to challenge the Will, they won’t be allowed to do so until they reach the age of majority.

A “no-contest” clause.

A Will that contains anyone can challenge a “no contest clause.” If they lose, the Will could be void. This is known as “disinheriting” the Will. This can lead to the person challenging losing everything. These clauses are often not enforced. A person may challenge the Will if they have legal grounds.

Most spouses challenge each other successfully

We have already stated that most Wills are not upheld in court. The courts view the Will as the intent and voice of the testator, the person who wrote and died the Will, and the Will as the voice of the testator. Therefore, courts are unable to question Will’s language.

The person challenging a Will is usually the spouse of the deceased. This is because they claim that someone persuaded or influenced the decedent to make or edit a Will. Sometimes, the spouse (the widower or widower) can also prove that the deceased lacked testamentary power.

To schedule an appointment in person or by telephone, please call – (614) 497-9918