Tips for successfully contesting a will

Tips for successfully contesting a will

| Oct 20, 2020 | Estate planning |

If you have recently lost a loved one, you’ll undoubtedly be going through a difficult time coming to terms with your loss. In addition to this emotional process, you may have a lot on your to-do list with regard to ensuring that your loved one’s last wishes are followed and that probate goes to plan.

If you are surprised by the contents of your loved one’s will, you may believe that something is amiss, because you are confident that the instructions in the will do not reflect your loved one’s last wishes. If this is the case, you will need to look into contesting the will. Before doing this, you’ll first need to make sure that you have standing and sufficient grounds to do so. The following is an overview of how to successfully contest a will in California.

Make sure that you have standing

Not everyone can contest a person’s will. You need to be a natural heir to the will, in other words, a spouse or direct relative, or you need to have been named in the will to be able to contest it.

Make sure that you have sufficient grounds

You also need to have a good reason to contest the will. You cannot simply contest the will because you do not like what was held within. The most common reason for contesting a will is because it’s believed that the will was drafted or executed incorrectly, because an heir was disinherited or because reasonable financial provisions were not made.

Make sure that you have proof

You should be able to back up the claims that you are making. In some cases, you may be able to argue that your loved one was unduly influenced by another at the later stages of their life when they did not have a sufficient capacity to change their will. You may be able to provide medical records to back this up.

If you want to contest a loved one’s will, make sure that you act quickly so that you have the best possible chance of success.