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Understanding who can challenge a will

When a will is challenged, it can impact a number of parties which is why it is helpful to understand who can challenge a will. It is not possible for everyone or anyone to challenge a will and, generally, only an interested party has standing to challenge the will and is able to challenge a will.

A will cannot be contested simply because a party disagrees with it or is not satisfied with what they received in the will. Wills are an important part of the estate planning process and help ensure assets and property are distributed according to the wishes of the estate planner. There are important rules and requirements associated with executing a will to provide peace of mind to the estate planner and family members that the will accurately reflects the wishes of the estate planner.

Probate laws provide that only an interested party may challenge a will for valid legal reasons. Interested parties, by definition, include children, spouses, heirs, devisees, creditors or any others who have a property right in or claim against the estate that is being administered. Challengers of a will typically fall into three categories including beneficiaries of a prior will; beneficiaries of a subsequent will; and intestate heirs.

There are complexities associated with challenging a will and many different terms and legal standards to be familiar with which is why trained guidance through the process can be useful. The estate planning process is important to understand and it is important to be familiar with all of the components including wills and how to a challenge a will.

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