Stachler Harmon Attorneys at Law
Do I Have Grounds to Contest My Parent's Will?
Losing a parent is a very difficult thing to go through. Knowing that you only have their memory left, you will want to make sure that their memory is preserved, and you may have expectations about what you will be able to do in the future to make this possible. For example, you may have talked in the past with your siblings about keeping the family home or setting up a charity in a parent's honor.
If you have certain expectations about the future in this way, you may be very surprised or upset when you learn about the contents of the will. As the child of the deceased person, you will expect to receive a significant portion of the estate. If an unexpected person is set to gain a high portion of the estate or if you are receiving less than you expected, you may be wondering whether you can take legal action to do something about this.
You may be able to take action to contest the will, but you must have grounds to do so. The following are some of the possible grounds that you may be able to use to successfully contest the will.
Show that The Testator Did Not Have the Testamentary Capacity to Make the Will
Those making a will must be in relatively good health and have a sound mind. If they are not well enough to know what effect the document will have on their loved ones, they lack the testamentary capacity to sign the will. If you can prove this, the document will no longer be considered valid.
Show that The Testator Was Unduly Influenced by Another
Elderly people can be vulnerable to external influences. If a person came into the testator's life at the later stages and managed to gain an inheritance, you may be able to argue that they exercised undue influence.
Show that The Will Was Subject to Fraud
Some wills can be subject to fraudulent activity. A will may have been forged, or the wishes stated may have been tampered with.
If you are currently grieving the loss of a parent and considering contesting the will, remember that by fighting for this you are making sure that your loved one's true wishes can be implemented.