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2 reasons why someone might contest a will? 

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Estate Planning |

A will is the starting point of any estate plan. This document outlines the testator’s intentions in terms of how their assets should be divided upon their death. On top of that, a will can also name guardians who look after minor children in the event of the parent’s death. 

Nonetheless, a will only functions as intended if the correct legal protocols have been followed. Will contests are one of the more common types of estate planning disputes. Why might someone contest a will? 

Lack of testamentary capacity 

A will must reflect the true wishes of the testator. Thus, the law demands that a testator has testamentary capacity. This means that they are physically and psychologically well enough to completely understand the terms of the will. 

In many cases, individuals leave it until they get older or become ill to draft or make changes to a will. Contests based on a lack of testamentary capacity are much more likely in these circumstances, which is why it’s so important to draft your will as soon as you can and make changes as soon as you feel they are necessary. 

Legal validity 

The laws regarding wills in California are quite specific. Firstly, testators must be at least 18 years old. Furthermore, the signing of the will must be witnessed by at least two credible individuals. One of the main purposes of these legal protocols is to reduce the risk of forgeries and fraud. When the legal validity of a will can be questioned, this is highly likely to result in contests. 

Will contests can take time to resolve, and they can cause issues for your loved ones. The best way to avoid contests is to seek legal guidance during the estate planning process.