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Virginia Injury & Will Contest Attorneys

5 Reasons Why You May Want to Contest a Will

Young woman goes over estate planning documents with her mother

Finding an issue in your loved one’s will can be frustrating and stressful, to say the least. With all of the other end-of-life details to take care of, it can be difficult to juggle it all on top of contesting the will.

However, there are some real reasons why you may want to contest the will. Keep reading to learn five reasons to contest your loved one’s will.

Reasons to Contest a Will

#1 - The testator was not mentally competent.

The person who makes the will, known as the testator, must be mentally sound when writing the will. If the testator is of sound mind when writing the will, he or she is considered to have testamentary capacity, if not, the will may be invalid.

#2 - The testator was under undue influence.

If the testator is taken advantage of or pressured by a relative or acquaintance to make a will favoring that person, then this is referred to as having undue influence. If the will is a result of coercion, it can be challenged in court.

#3 - Not all laws were followed when the will was written.

In order for the will to be valid, it must abide by the following laws:

  • The will must be properly signed by the maker in the presence of two witnesses;
  • If the testator makes modifications to a will, he or she can do so through a Codicil or through a new will. A Codicil or a new will also require two witnesses to sign it;
  • The testator has the right to allocate the property named in the will or Codicil;
  • The testator was not deceived or coerced into signing the will

A will is invalid if it is forged or fraudulent in any way. Holographic wills are handwritten, which means they may not include all the essential legal formalities. A handwritten will may still be valid if the judge approves, but it can be more susceptible to contest. It must be entirely in the maker’s handwriting and at least two disinterested persons must identify the handwriting as being in the maker’s hand.

#4 - There is a more recent version of the will.

When a new will is signed, the new will revokes any previous versions. As long as it’s properly created, the latest version of the will is valid.

#5 - The will is incomplete.

Certain legal standards must be met in order for a will to be considered complete and valid. This could be anything from missing signatures to the omission of the beneficiary names.

We’re Here to Help

Our team here at Obenshain Law Group is highly skilled in the area of will contest and has helped many other people just like you. Let us see if we can also help you. Contact our office with any questions you may have right away.

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.