Legal issues could arise from a variety of circumstances. Even after a person has passed away, his or her estate could still face litigation if an issue with a will or other aspects comes about. As a surviving family member, you certainly want to ensure that everyone honors your loved one’s final wishes in the manner he or she intended. If you have concerns about whether the information in the decedent’s will reflects those intentions, you may wish to consider contesting the document.
In order to move forward with contesting a will, you must have the legal standing to do so. If you prove that you have standing, you must then have a legitimate reason for wanting to review the validity of the document.
Believing that another person exercised undue influence over a loved one commonly results in will disputes. This type of situation may arise if a caregiver, neighbor, family member or other individual with access to your vulnerable loved one coerced him or her into changing details of the will. In most cases, a person who takes such action does so in order to gain a more favorable outcome for him or herself.
You may also have concerns about the validity of your loved one’s will if you suspect that he or she did not have the testamentary capacity to create the document. Testamentary capacity refers to a person’s mental ability to knowingly create and understand the terms of a will. In many cases, older adults develop mental illnesses such as dementia that could diminish their ability to clearly make decisions.
Another situation that could lead the court to potentially ruling a will as invalid relates to how your loved one created the document. If he or she did not follow the proper procedures and include the specific stipulations that a legal and binding will needs, the document may not hold up during probate proceedings.
Contesting the will
Moving forward with contesting a will is a serious legal process. Therefore, you may wish to ensure that you have a legitimate reason for questioning the validity of the will. Information on probate proceedings and filing a dispute may allow you to determine where you may want to start your case. Because such actions can prove complicated, you may wish to consult with a Michigan attorney to gain reliable knowledge regarding your options.