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Can you contest a will?

If someone you know or love has recently passed away and things aren't going as you thought they would in probate, you might want to know if you can contest the will.

Perhaps you believe that the will doesn't reflect the deceased's true wishes for the estate, or you might have reason to suspect that the will isn't valid. Here's a look at some technical reasons you could use for contesting a will during probate.

One of the biggest reasons to contest a will is because you believe that the person didn't really mean to create that will. Perhaps you believe they weren't mentally able to draft a will when they did or the will seems to indicate that someone had undue influence over the process. If there was a previous will and the new will is completely different without any explanation for the change, this could be the case.

Another reason for contesting the will may be that you believe there is another valid will in existence. If you have a property executed, witnessed and dated later than the will that was presented, you might have a strong case for throwing out the older document.

If appropriate information is not disclosed in a will or other probate proceedings, sometimes it's appropriate to file litigation to resolve the matter. For example, if creditors are not completely disclosed, you might initiate legal action if you are a creditor. This can allow you to receive payment from the estate.

These are just a few reasons to file probate litigation. If you believe that a will isn't valid or you have any other reason to contest the proceedings in probate, consider talking with an estate lawyer to better understand your options.

Source: NewsMax, "What Is Probate Litigation?," accessed Jan. 20, 2017

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