The creation of a will can provide families peace of mind and protect a loved one’s assets from unnecessary losses or unwanted distribution. Though, not every estate plan is perfect and some would-be heirs may challenge a will for multiple reasons.
Undue influence by a person close to them
You may contest a will on the grounds that undue influence has taken place. Undue influence is when someone manipulates or otherwise coaxes a vulnerable person into drafting an estate plan that benefits the influencer. This influencer could be a caretaker, a family member or someone else who plays a significant role in the vulnerable person’s life.
Technicalities and varying state laws
You may also choose to challenge a will if there is another will already in existence that nullifies it. Another technicality that may warrant a will contest relates to the witnesses present upon the will’s validation. There may have been an insufficient amount of witnesses, for example, or the witnesses of the will were not valid per Pennsylvania state.
Probate laws will also vary per state. If a loved one drafted their will in Pennsylvania but an heir tries to settle the estate elsewhere, you may find grounds to challenge the validity of the will. Though, this may prove to be difficult.
While your approach to a will contest may vary depending on the counsel of your attorney, once you are certain you have legal grounds to do so, the process of contesting a will can begin.