HERE TO SAFEGUARD YOUR LEGACY OR CONTEST A WILL
Anyone who has intentions for how their assets and belongings will be treated and who should own them when they die should consider drafting a will. Passing down these items can mean more to your recipients than collecting things of value. It can mean receiving artifacts from the story of your life that can inspire stories of remembrance for generations to come. At Patton Law Group, we can help you build a comprehensive will that can cover any asset in your estate to help you determine how your story may be told down the line.
The fate of your belongings, however, isn’t the only reason you should think about securing such a legacy: A properly planned will in your estate plan can cover pragmatic matters such as who assumes guardianship over your children, who will care for your pets, who will administer the division of your estate, and it can also serve as a backup to cover items in your estate that may be overlooked by your trust.
In a perfect world, wills would be comprehensive, fair, and created in good faith with your family’s best interests in mind. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world, and wills can fall short of a loved one’s intentions or even be a product of abuse or fraud. If you plan on contesting any portion of a will, however, be prepared to understand that the entire document may be ruled invalid should your argument succeed.
There are various reasons why you may doubt a will’s validity, such as the following:
- Doubt regarding the signing of the will. Commonly, wills can be found invalid simply because there’s doubt about whether or not proper legal procedure for signing a will was followed.
- Doubt regarding the capacity of the testator to sign a will. Another reason why families may doubt a will is if it was signed while the recently deceased had the ability and presence of mind to understand what was being signed. Conditions that can cause this doubt may include brain injury or dementia, but proving a testator lacked capacity at the time of signing, however, can be hard to prove.
- Doubt regarding influence over a will’s provisions. If you believe someone within or outside of your family had undue influence over the creation of a loved one’s will, you may wish to challenge the document. You should be prepared to prove that such parties were isolating your loved one from others or consulting with a loved one’s attorney about the will.
- Doubt regarding whether or not a will is fraudulent. In perhaps one of the most tragic scenarios, an elderly or unwell loved one could be tricked into signing a will with provisions they would otherwise never agree to. They may even be led to believe they’re signing an entirely different document, or their signature may be outright forged by others acting in bad faith.