Know the reasons to contest a will

Lynard C. Hinojosa

Some people know the contents of their loved one’s will before the person passes away. But there are cases in which the contents are much different than what was expected. In these circumstances, there might be a need to file a challenge to the will. This can only be done in limited cases, so it’s imperative that you determine whether you can file a case or not.

In order to contest a will, you have to have an interest in it. This means that you were in a previous version of the will, are in the current will or are in the intestate succession set by the State of California. If none of those apply to you, you almost certainly won’t be able to file the challenge to the will.

If you do qualify to launch a will contest, you’ll have to show why you feel the will isn’t valid. You can’t do this just because you don’t agree with the terms. Instead, you need to have a reason, such as knowing that your loved one was subjected to undue influence or that the will was established when the person wasn’t legally competent. Lack of witnesses and knowing of another will that should cancel out the will that’s before the court are also reasons to challenge the will.

Remember that there is a good chance that your will contest is going to impact your relationship with the other heirs. This can create a large, and sometimes insurmountable, rift in the family. Be sure that the benefits of the challenge outweigh that negative aspect. These cases can be complex, so you should work with someone familiar with the process.




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