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Three reasons you might contest a will

In a perfect scenario, a will and other estate documents communicate the wishes of the deceased regarding his or her assets. The will lets family and friends know how the person wanted to handle their legacy, including how the assets should be split among heirs.

Unfortunately, not every situation is perfect, As a surviving loved one, you might see that something is off about the estate documents. Here are three reasons you might contest a will.

First, you might contest it if you believe it was created by your loved one when he or she was not in the right mind to do so. For example, perhaps your loved one suffered from a cognitive impairment later in life that left him or her unable to make sound decisions. If a will was prepared during this period or the deceased's life, it could be invalidated.

Another reason you might contest a will is because you believe you have a will that overrides what has been filed with the court. For example, if you have a will that was written and validly executed within the past year, and the will filed with the court is five years old, you have a likely change of being able to contest the older document. Know that the will you present will have to hold up to all the standard examination.

Finally, loved ones can contest wills if they believe the documents were created or signed under undue influence from a third-party. If your older relative suddenly has a new best friend in later years, and the will suddenly changes to benefit this best friend, you might be suspicious and look into the matter. Not all late-life will changes are suspect, but if you believe another person forced or manipulated a loved one into a will, you might contest it.

Successfully contesting a will requires a strong argument and evidence. Our firm can work with you on will contests or other probate matters to help ensure your loved one's legacy is protected.

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