Challenging a Will in Probate  

        If you want, you have the right to challenge a will. However, in order to do this, you will need the services of an experienced and competent lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the laws that govern wills. Nonetheless, there are several reasons for contesting and challenging a will in probate.

        It has been seen that several times, people end up contesting a will because proper formalities were not followed when the will was being drafted. When a will is made, it only requires the person it, it also requires the signature of a testator and 2 witnesses. So, one of the grounds for challenging a will is when it is not appropriately signed, witnessed or drafted.

        Sometimes, the person may not have the mental capacity to understand and make an informed decision. Here too a will can be contested and challenged. In case it can be proven that the person was mentally unfit to make the will, then the will is deemed as void and null. This evidence can be presented when a person was suffering from a debilitating neurological disease like dementia, Alzheimer's disease or psychosis. Even witnesses can be called upon to give testimony on the deceased person's decision making abilities when the will was created.

        Another reason to challenge a will is when the person was influenced to leave all his assets and property to someone. In this case the person could have been coerced or compelled into making the other person his or her beneficiary. This other person can be anyone like a member of the family, care giver, advisor or healthcare worker, who can influence the person either by threats, friendship or coercion to make him or her the sole beneficiary.

        Usually when you want to contest a will, it has to be done quickly. Invariably you get 90 days after receiving a notice to appear for the probate, or you get 20 days if the will has been sent for probate.

        In case you find out that a loved one has been influenced, threatened or coerced into putting another person's name onto the will, or if the person is not able to make informed decisions due to ill health, then the best alternative it to assume guardianship of the person and his or her financial affairs. It will also allow you to collect all the necessary evidence required in case there is a fear that the will be contested.

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Challenging a Will in Probate
 

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