When you are no longer around to support them, one of the most important subjects that your dependents will grapple with is who will inherit your assets. If you have a will in place at the time of your passing, the probate court will rely on this to distribute the elements of your estate according to your wishes.
However, your will can only be enforced if it is valid. Here are a couple of reasons why your will may be contested and successfully invalidated in California if you don’t take steps to mitigate this risk.
If your will is incomplete or faulty
California, like other states, has specific laws that stipulate how your will must be executed to be considered valid. If you do not take these stipulations into account while drafting and executing your will – i.e, missing signatures, lack of witnesses or missing important provisions – then an interested party can potentially dispute its validity and have it thrown out.
If there are questions regarding your testamentary capacity
Testamentary capacity is, basically, the legal ability to understand and execute your will as pertains to your mental faculties. In other words, you must be able to clearly understand the extent of your estate, the legal implications of creating your will and the reasons why you are distributing your assets in a particular manner. If the court establishes that you were suffering from a degenerative disorder like advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or if you were inebriated at the time of signing your will, then there is a good chance it will be invalidated.
Safeguarding your interests
A will is, without a doubt, one of the most important legal documents you can ever create. Learning more about California estate planning laws can help you avoid missteps that can result in the invalidation of your will.