Grounds To Challenging A Last Will And Testament In California
A Last Will and Testament is a powerful legal document that dictates how a decedent's estate is divided and handled. Hence, it's one of the essential estate planning documents every person should prepare for.
That said, any will created out of coercion and fraud should be challenged. So, how do you go about it?
Let's look at what our prescreened estate planning lawyers in Los Angeles have to say about challenging a last will and testament:
Can Anyone Question Or Challenge A Will In California?
No. You can only challenge a will if you're a beneficiary or have a legal interest in the execution of the will. This includes the decedent's spouses, children, grandchildren, and other legal heirs.
This also applies to people who have legal standing but were written off or excluded from the will.
When Can You Challenge A Last Will And Testament?
You can't challenge a will solely because you didn't like what was written in it. For example, you can't file a will content just because you were written out. You need to have a legal reason to question the will's validity.
It's always wise to contact a California estate law attorney to help you review the will, investigate the possible legal problems, and advise you on your legal choices.
What Are The Legal Grounds For Filing A Will Contest In Los Angeles?
So, what are your legal grounds for challenging a last will and testament in California? Let's look:
1. Execution-Related Problems
A problem with executing a will is one of the grounds for contesting it. Some examples include:
It is not written correctly
There is ambiguous language
Wrong or inconsistent dates
It has missing signatures
It was not witnessed in accordance with state law
Any of these factors can be used to challenge the validity of a last will and testament.
Because of this, it is essential for people to either hire a Los Angeles estate planning lawyer to prepare the will or meticulously abide by their state's regulations if they choose to do it themselves.
The same rule applies if you intend to contest a will because of issues with its execution. Again, consult a California estate attorney to study the document and look for any problems you might be able to fight.
2. The Author's Incapacity To Make Sound Decisions While Writing The Will
A will can be challenged if the author was not of sound mind when they did so. Remember that you don't have to be entirely free of mental illnesses to carry out a will, as long as you know your assets, heirs, beneficiaries, and the possible effects of the will.
Therefore, you should consult a Los Angeles will and testament lawyer if you have questions about the author's testamentary capacity.
3. Fraud And Undue Influence
A will can also be challenged legally if the testator was duped into signing it. For instance, the will's creator might have been misled about its contents prior to signing it.
Additionally, someone could be blackmailed or coerced into signing the will. This can happen when someone has influence over the testator, such as a live-in caretaker who directs all of the testator's actions.
If you are concerned that claims of undue influence may be made, go to a California will and testament attorney who may help you put together evidence to the contrary.
Contact An Estate Planning Attorney In Los Angeles, California ASAP!
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