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The basics of challenging a will

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2023 | Probate & Estate Administration |

While in the majority of cases a will is executed without problems, there are circumstances in which it’s possible for someone to challenge the validity of a will in the Kentucky courts. Probate issues can be complicated and can have major financial ramifications depending on the judgment of the court in contested will situations. But there are some basic rules that apply to any challenged will.

Who can challenge a will?

First of all, not just anyone can challenge a will. Even family members in some cases are not considered “interested persons,” or those who have legal standing to challenge a will in probate court.

The general rule is that in order to have legal standing to contest a will a person must either be named in the will or would be a beneficiary of a default will should a judge rule that the current will is invalid. This means that the pool of people able to challenge a will tends to be small and restricted in most cases.

On what basis can you challenge a will?

Being upset with the amount of money or property you received in a will isn’t grounds for a challenge. A challenger must present the court with a valid reason to cast doubt on a will.

Some valid reasons are the existence of a later will than the currently acknowledged one, the deceased person being incapacitated when the will was created, fraud or undue influence by someone on the deceased person or unclear provisions in the wall. Any of these reasons might cause the court to consider voiding or amending a will.

Any will can be challenged although not anyone can challenge a will. In order for a challenge to take place, the challenger must have standing and a valid reason to contest the will. Unless both of those exist, any challenge to a will is likely to be dismissed quickly.