Losing a parent is hard. Even when an elderly parent passes after a long illness, there is still significant grief and a long process of recovery for many of those they leave behind. Having a last will and testament written can help to make things easier, or at least more simple, for siblings, children, and other family members. Help from a wills and trusts attorney or estate planning attorney can help.
But what happens if you feel you need to contest a will? No one needs additional stress after the loss of a parent, but there are certain unfortunate circumstances that can occur that justify contesting a will. While it may be difficult, contesting a will is sometimes necessary, and a professional wills and trusts attorney can offer some guidance on how it works.
Your Relative Was Not Mentally Competent
If you believe that the will was written by a relative who was not in full understanding of what they were writing or signing, you may have grounds to contest. This is often seen in cases with elderly parents, grandparents or other relatives who suffered mental health issues, or an illness such as Alzheimer’s.
If you are contesting on these grounds, you will need a statement from a doctor who was familiar with their condition, and possibly their medical records.
Your Relative Was Fraudulently Led In Making Their Will
In some unfortunate cases, elderly parents or relatives have been convinced to sign a will without realizing what they are actually signing. In this case, the person who had them sign has committed fraud, as they have had to mislead them into signing a legally binding document. This is absolutely grounds for contesting.
There Was Undue Influence On Them When They Wrote It
While not quite as severe as fraud, having undue influence or pressure on someone to sign a will can also be grounds to contest it. If you feel a relative has been pressured, bullied or otherwise coerced into signing a will they might not necessarily agree to, then contesting it is important. Their last will and testament represents their final wishes, and having those wishes denied or wrongfully changed should be remedied.
The Will Was Not Executed Properly
There are very specific laws about what constitutes a will, and these will vary depending on the state. If a will does not follow the specific legal requirements of your state, then a wills and trusts attorney will likely advise you to contest it. A will that is not properly executed is effectively invalid, which is also why you should consider a wills and trusts attorney when it comes to writing a will, too.
Related Post: Reasons a Will May Be Contested
Contact a Wills and Trusts Attorney
Are you in need of help contesting a will? Or are you looking for guidance in writing your own? Whatever you need when it comes to establishing your Texas legacy, contact Davidson Law Group in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler. Our wills and trusts attorneys are experienced in estate planning, will writing and setting up charitable trusts, and we can make sure your family’s future is secure.