Going through the process of handling an estate after a loved one passes away can be challenging in a variety of ways. As a result, it is helpful for family members and loved ones to be familiar with the probate
process and also in what circumstances they may challenge a will if they think there has been a problem. In addition, it is helpful for families and loved ones to know how to respond to a will challenge.
There are certain requirements for a will to be valid. If the estate planner executing the will lacks testamentary capacity, it may be possible to challenge the will. Testamentary capacity requires that the party executing the will is over 18 years of age and has testamentary capacity which includes knowledge of the extent and value of their property; knowledge of who their beneficiaries are; knowledge of the disposition of their property and the implications of that; and some other considerations as well.
Additionally, there are usually signature and witness requirements that may vary by state which is why estate planners and family members should be familiar with the specific requirements that apply to them. There also must not be any undue influence in the formation of the will such as duress, fraud or forgery of the will. If any of these circumstances exist, it may be possible to challenge the will.
The estate planning and probate processes can be overwhelming and may also be emotional and occur during a difficult time. As a result, it is helpful for estate planners and families to have as much information as possible and are familiar with the resources available to them to help guide them through the sometimes challenging process.