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Is your inheritance at risk in an invalid will?

by | Dec 10, 2021 | Wills & Trusts

Losing someone you love isn’t easy, particularly if you have known the person your entire life. Perhaps you’ve grown up in Nevada and have decades of cherished memories of times spent alongside your grandmother or grandfather. As you lay him or her to rest, such memories may provide comfort. This time can be stressful, as well, especially if you encounter challenges regarding a last will and testament in relation to your inheritance.

The last thing you want, of course, is to fight with family members over your loved one’s will. Then again, if you feel sure that what your grandparent always told you and what has been stated during the administration process are conflicting pieces of information, you might believe that you have standing to contest the will.

How to know if you have standing

There are very few instances that would place someone in standing to challenge a last will and testament in court. If you’re grandparent named you in his or her will, you would undoubtedly have standing to contest the will. You might also have standing if you are not named in the will but have evidence to show that you should have been.

Is there a no-contest clause that might result in disinheritance?

If your loved one’s last will and testament included a “no-contest” clause, it is an important issue that you definitely do not want to overlook. This type of clause doesn’t prohibit you from contesting a will if you have legal standing to do so. It might, however, mean that you lose all rights to inheritance if you file a petition to challenge the will and the judge does not rule in your favor.

Be prepared for the potential implications of your challenge

Determining whether it is worth contesting a will depends on several factors. It’s a good idea to consider the possible consequences that may arise if you challenge your grandparent’s will. In the past, many families have come to rows over such issues, some of whom ultimately faced permanent rifts. If you think filing a petition will cause family discord, you must decide if you’re willing to face whatever relationship problems may occur in order to right the wrong that you believe has been done.

Issues that may prompt the court to rule that a will is invalid

There are numerous reasons that the court may consider just in ruling that a person’s last will and testament is invalid. For instance, if you believe that your grandparent was forced under duress to make changes to his or her will before death, this would be an issue of concern. If you are aware of the existence of another will, validly dated and signed at a later date then the will in question, this may also influence a judge’s decision.

If proper procedures weren’t followed when a will was signed, such as rules regarding witnesses or other clerical issues, it would also be a factor of consideration if the will is being contested.

Arm yourself with knowledge and support

If you plan to contest a will, it’s best to learn as much as you can about the process ahead of time, including what your rights are as an heir and where you can seek additional support if a legal problem arises.