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Virginia Injury & Will Contest Attorneys

This Is What You Need to Know About Who Can Contest a Will

Young woman goes over estate planning documents with her mother

Just because you don’t agree with your loved one’s will doesn’t mean you have the right to challenge it. To that point, not just anyone is able to contest a will they don’t agree with or don’t like.

Keep reading to learn who may contest a will and under what conditions.

The People Who Can Contest a Will

Not just anyone can contest a will. In order to have the standing to contest a will, you’ll need to demonstrate that the will was drafted improperly or illegally in some way.

The following people, referred to as interested parties, have the standing to contest the will:

  • Beneficiaries named in a previous will, who were written out of the most recent version of the will, or whose share of the estate was substantially reduced by the newest will
  • Any person not named in the will but who, due to Virginia’s intestacy laws, would be eligible to inherit the assets if a will didn’t exist

Keep in mind that you need more than just standing to contest a will. You also need a valid purpose.

You Must Have a Viable Reason to Contest a Will

You can’t contest a will simply because you want to. A legal basis is required for your claim in order to have a viable case. Even if the asset distribution is unfair, that isn’t enough; you need more in order to challenge a will in court. Common reasons for an interested person to challenge a will include:

  • A defect in the will itself
  • Undue influence
  • A lack of testamentary capacity

You may only have standing if you were named in one of the decedent’s previous wills, or you would’ve been eligible to inherit property if the will didn’t exist.

Here at Obenshain Law Group, we are highly skilled in will contests and have helped many others obtain the assets they deserved. Let us see if we can help you, too. Don’t delay—contact our office right away with your questions.

If you need to contest a loved one’s will, our lawyers at Obenshain Law Group may be able to help you seek the justice you deserve. Give us a call at (540) 318-7360 or fill out an online contact form.