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Pennsylvania probate: When can one challenge a loved one's will?

There is nothing easy about dealing with the death of a loved one, no matter the circumstances behind the loss of life. When, during probate and estate administration, concerns arise over the contents of that loved one's will, it is okay to ask questions. In some cases, it may even be okay to officially challenge the will in a Pennsylvania court. When might going that far be appropriate?

There are only a few legally valid reasons to contest a will. This is not something one can do just because they feel like it. Some of the qualifying grounds for challenging a will include:

  • The testator did not understand the consequences of signing the will
  • The testator lacked the mental capacity to create and sign the will
  • The document lacked the necessary signatures/witnesses
  • The testator was pressured to include specific terms in the will
  • The testator signed the will without knowing what it was

To successfully challenge a will, one needs to have evidence that will back up any claims made regarding its validity. In some cases, obtaining that evidence may prove difficult. Those who think they have sufficient cause to contest a loved one's will can turn to legal counsel in order to determine if officially questioning the document's validity is an option.

Challenging a will can open a big can of worms at a time that is already difficult and stressful. It can make the probate and estate administration process drag on, which no one wants if it can be avoided. At the same time, standing silent and allowing the terms outlined in a questionable will to be followed is not going to help the situation either. Those who are considering challenging a loved one's will in a Pennsylvania court can turn to legal counsel for advice on the matter and, if appropriate, assistance fighting the issue out in court.

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