Why would you contest a will?

| Dec 9, 2020 | estate planning

When a loved one’s will goes through probate, you may find its instructions inconsistent with what you previously believed it contained. In fact, the document may sound so incorrect that you wonder if it is real.

The probate process allows the debts and distributions of an estate to happen in the open so that any inconsistencies may come to light. In some situations, people are able to contest a will in Washington.

An heir does not receive anything

A common reason people contest wills is they did not inherit what they thought they would. For instance, perhaps you saw an earlier draft of your father’s will and knew what to expect. Now, however, you did not get the inheritance he indicated. In this case, you may have a good reason for concern. If you file a contest and succeed, Washington’s intestate law takes over.

A competency question exists

Some people lose their mental capacity to make decisions as they age. If you believe your parent changed the will due to reduced mental capacity, you may challenge the document’s validity. Diminished capacity may invalidate a will if the heirs can submit proof. Medical evidence may include medical records and testimony from doctors. When a person with diminishing capacity creates a will, a doctor may include a note about the disorder’s current status. This helps to indicate the person’s frame of mind and ability to make decisions at the moment.

If you can prove that someone unduly influenced your loved one and caused a will change, or your loved one was in a hazy mental state, the court may throw the document out.