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Why would someone dispute probate or a will?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Probate & Estate Administration |

Probate is an important process that allows the executor to perform their duties and settle an estate. This process can take several months to over a year. During this time, someone could have reasonable evidence to dispute the process.

Here are several reasons probate or a will might be challenged

1. The testator lacked testamentary capacity

For a valid will to be made, the testator must have been in sound mind. A sound mind means that the testator had the ability to not only make a will but also understand the terms of this legal document. Dementia, insanity or intoxication are a few conditions that might cause a testator to lack testamentary capacity. This is also a reason why a will might be challenged during probate.

2. The executor violated their fiduciary duty

The executor of the estate is legally responsible to meet their duties in full. This often involves, for starters, locating the will, paying debts, contacting banks, collecting health insurance and distributing assets to beneficiaries. If an executor fails any of these responsibilities, they may violate their fiduciary duty. An executor could also fail their fiduciary duty if they lie about the contents of an estate, self-serve assets or reveal important details.

3. A will lacks witness signatures

Another condition that must be met to make a valid will is that a will must have two witness signatures. These witnesses must not benefit from the will. The will should also include a signature from the testator. Lacking any of these signatures could cause a dispute.

If a will is being disputed, it may help to reach out for legal help to discuss your legal options.