When an estate plan gets to probate court, you may want to challenge the will. The most common reason for a challenge is that a family member thinks the will is inaccurate. It does not describe what a loved one believes the deceased person wanted.
Deciding to challenge a will in probate court is a big deal, though. It can take time. It can be stressful for the family. If not everyone agrees with your decision, they may feel like you are attacking their position or threatening their assets.
So, should you challenge a will? You may want to if you think that:
- The will is a forgery.
- The will was drafted because of undue influence.
- Your loved one lacked the mental capacity to write the will.
- The estate ends up including multiple wills and there is some question over which one is valid.
- The will includes illegal provisions.
You may not know precisely what happened at first. You could see that your sibling gets 90% of the estate, for instance, while you only get 10%. You don’t yet know if your sibling influenced your parent, if they forged a will, or if your parent just made a mistake due to their declining mental abilities. However, you know that something went wrong. When you figure out what it is, you may then have a valid reason to challenge the will and fight for what is yours.
This process can become extremely complicated, however. It’s wise to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. They can provide valuable guidance as you make the decision about whether to challenge a will and help you through the process if you do.