Common grounds for contesting a will
Contesting a will can be a sensitive and difficult process, particularly because the person whose signature appears at the bottom is no longer around to explain or rationalize any of the decisions made therein. Therefore, there are very specific grounds that can be used to contest a will in America, and to be successful in your effort, you must furnish proof that one of the following four situations occurred.
1. Your loved one was mentally incapacitated.
You may want to contest your loved ones will because you believe he or she was suffering from dementia or a similar condition at the time the document was authored or signed. This can be difficult to prove, and in doing so, you may have to rely on the testimony of whoever witnessed the will’s signing to back up your statement. You may also have to produce a statement from a doctor that corroborates your own and that of any witnesses.
2. Your loved one was subject to undue influence.
Regrettably, there are some people out there who may try to take advantage of your loved one after he or she reaches a certain age or stage of life. Memory tends to weaken with age, and it is possible that your loved one was pressured to the extent that he or she lost free will and signed something that was not, in fact, truly in line with his or her wishes.
3. The will was not properly executed.
Under specific circumstances, you may be able to contest a will on the grounds that it was not created and signed in accordance with state laws. For a will to be considered legally valid in Florida, it must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses. If this process is not followed, the contents of the will may be up for debate.
4. Fraud took place.
To contest a will on the grounds of fraud, you essentially need to demonstrate that your loved one was tricked into signing the document. For example, maybe he or she was told they were signing something entirely different, such as a deed or contract. If you move forward with contesting a will because of alleged fraud, expect those two witnesses to be questioned about what they thought was being signed by the testator at the time in question.
Contesting a will can prove tricky, but if any of these four things occurred, it may be possible. To discuss your own specific situation, consider getting in touch with an attorney.