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Issues you may encounter when challenging a will

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2022 | Estate Planning And Elder Law

The process of settling an estate after the death of a loved one can be a complicated and difficult process. The emotions you may feel after this type of loss are hard to navigate, but it can be even more challenging when you believe there is a problem with your loved one’s will. This may mean that you will have to navigate the process of legally challenging a will in order to protect your loved one’s estate and ensure there is no compromise to your rightful claim of estate assets. 

You cannot challenge a Michigan will simply because you don’t like the terms of the document. There must be clear legal grounds in order to successfully and legally challenge a will. If you believe there is a valid reason to move forward with this potentially complex process, you may benefit from first seeking an assessment of your case in order to determine how you can fight for your desired outcome to the situation. 

Should you contest a will? 

Contesting a will can be a complicated endeavor, and there is no guarantee that you will achieve your desired outcome. Even if you think you have a clear reason to challenge a will, it can actually be very difficult to prove there is a reason for the court to invalidate some or all of a will. Some of the valid reasons to challenge a will include: 

  • The testator lacks the testamentary capacity to sign a will, which means he or she did not have the capability to understand the terms and implications of the document when signing. 
  • The signing of the will did not follow state laws, which may mean there was not a witness, or one did not meet other requirements.  
  • There was fraud in the procurement of the will, which means someone tricked or deceived the testator into signing the document. 
  • There was undue influence of the testator at the signing of the document, which means someone exerted enough influence over the testator to affect the terms of the will. 

If you wish to contest a will, it is prudent to take this step before the will goes into probate. Any individual who has a stake in the will, such as a loved one or beneficiary, has the right to challenge a will. A careful evaluation of your case and your specific concerns with the will could help you understand the legal options available to you.