When a person creates a will, they document how they wish for their assets to be handled after their passing. However, when they pass, family members may not always agree with the outcome of the will. This can end up leading them to contest it. However, there must be reasons, also known as grounds, as to why a relative may want to challenge the will. If so, there is a proper protocol that must be followed in the state of Virginia for this.
Why Contest a Will?
In the state of Virginia, if you wish to contest a will, you must:
Explain how you are an interested person who is entitled to part of the will
State your reason for contesting the will
Submit a bill in equity to challenge the current will or to establish a new one
Once it has been established that the individual contesting the will is an interested person, they will need to determine whether there are grounds, also known as legal reasons, to challenge the will. There are several reasons why someone may wish to contest a will. The most common reasons that a court will accept as grounds for contesting a will include:
The decedent’s mental capacity was limited at the time the will was made
The will does not follow the statutory requirements to make it valid in Virginia
Another individual used undue influence to persuade the decedent to write favorable provisions in the will for them
The decedent was under duress or forced to include provisions in their will that they otherwise would not have contained
The will was the result of fraud
The will was forged
In any case, there must be substantial evidence to prove the claim as to why the will is being contested. When contesting a will, it is wise to seek representation from an attorney who specializes in will contests to ensure there are adequate grounds established.
Hire a Will Contest Attorney
Contesting a will is best done with the help of an attorney who can answer any legal questions you might have about the process. An attorney will make sure that the process adheres to the law. The will contest attorneys at Obenshain Law Group can offer guidance as you seek to challenge a will.
Call our office today at (540) 318-7360 to schedule a free consultation about your will contest case.