When one has passed on, a will is the most straightforward way to determine who should inherit their estate. However, be that as it may, wills are not cast in stone and their directions can always be questioned if there is a good reason to do so. If you feel that a will left behind by a deceased does not reflect what you should have inherited, various grounds can be used to dispute the will. Below, see what these grounds are.
A will can be disputed if the maker was not in their right capacity when drafting it. For a will to be recognised and considered legal, the maker (the deceased) should have been alert and conscious of their actions at the time. This means that if the deceased was mentally unstable, gravely ill, under immense stress or was under the influence of drugs, then they were not in the right capacity to create the will and that makes it disputable.
A will can also be successfully challenged if the maker was under undue influence when drafting it. This means that some other party was coercing them to prepare the will in a certain way, not as per the deceased's personal wishes. The undue influence here could refer to parties such as spouses, children, handlers, friends, etc.
Promises not honoured
Another legal ground to contest a will is if the deceased made promises to pass on parts of their estate to you and the same is not reflected in the will. If you can prove that indeed such promises were made, then the will can be questioned for not being legal or for not being a true reflection of the deceased's last wishes.
Wills do not exist of their own legal mandate. They, too, have to subscribe to laws created to govern them. When wills go against these laws, they can be disputed in court as being illegal. For example, the law expects that a will shall leave the dependants of the deceased looked after. Therefore, if a will neglects the remaining spouse or kids, it can be called to question. A will can also be deemed illegal if it is not dated or does not have a signature.
You can also challenge a will if you feel that its provisions are unfair or malicious to you. For example, if the deceased had been catering to your needs and the will leaves no such provisions after their death or if the will provides zero or no provisions for you while other parties in your position get an abundant inheritance. Another example is where due to your close relationship with the deceased, you feel that you ought to have been included in the will.
Estate and probate laws differ from state to state so if you wish to challenge a will, ensure to consult a local attorney on the matter first. By successfully challenging the will, you can then begin seeking a redress of your inheritance.