Stachler Harmon Attorneys at Law
Can Anyone Challenge a Will?
When a person passes away and leaves behind a will, the contents of the will might not be what family members expected or hoped for. Many people, unfortunately, become involved in disputes with other loved ones after a family member passes away because they are so upset with the directives in the will.
If you are interested in challenging a will because you believe that the will should not be executed, you will need to first learn whether you will be able to challenge the will. The following is an overview of the circumstances in which a person has the standing to challenge a will.
Heirs Can Challenge a Will
Heirs are usually, but not always, named as beneficiaries of a will. If a person dies without a will, their estate will be passed down to their heirs. However, if a will does not name heirs as beneficiaries, they have effectively been excluded from their natural inheritance. This is why they can challenge a will even if they do not have standing.
Beneficiaries Can Challenge a Will
Beneficiaries of a will could include friends, charities or partners. If they have been named in the will, they have the right to challenge it.
No-Contest Clauses Can Prevent People from Challenging a Will
Some wills contain no-contest clauses to try to prevent disputes from arising. If a no-contest clause is present, by challenging a will you'll be automatically cut out of any inheritance.
If you are considering challenging a will, you should first make sure that you have the standing to do so. When you have established this, you can then consider your argument for challenging the will's validity.