Reasons for Contesting the Probate of a Last Will and Testament

There are probably as many reasons for contesting the probate of a will as there are contested actions.  The usual trigger is often anger at the terms of the will, being left out of an estate plan, a new will that is signed just before death with unexpected terms, etc.

When a deceased executes a new will while under some type of disability and either cuts out of the will persons who had previously been beneficiaries or leaves disproportionate sums to persons who suddenly appear out of nowhere to receive a large inheritance, then radar will go off and a contested claim may be considered.  Not all of this type of estate plan changes mean that wrongdoing has occurred.  Rather this type of conduct is the alarm that will awaken prospective heirs or others interested in the estate to investigate the facts surrounding the execution of the will.

In later comments, I will discuss the necessary mental capacity of a person to execute a last will and testament.  In a nutshell, the testator does not have to be in total control 24/7 to properly execute a will.  There must be no undue influence which impacts on the decisions of the testator and of course the will must be properly executed according to statute.

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