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Grounds for contesting a will

by | Mar 12, 2022 | Estate Litigation

People in Nevada and elsewhere routinely use last wills and testaments to specify how they would like their assets distributed upon their passing. While testators should create their will under the guidance of experienced legal counsel, some choose to take a more economical route and either create their will using a DIY template online or simply writing down their wishes and placing the document in a safe place. Unfortunately, choosing this route can cause problems for heirs and loved ones, and the will may not be considered valid. Here are some reasons most wills are contested. 

  • Will wasn’t signed properly — In order for a will to be valid, the testator must sign the document in the presence of at least two witnesses. If a testator does not sign the document or signs it in the absence of witnesses, the will may be deemed invalid. 
  • Testator lacked capacity to sign the will — Many people are familiar with the phrase “of sound mind and body” that is included in many wills. This means the testator possesses the mental and physical capacity to sign the will and understand what he or she is signing. Testamentary capacity is important in establishing the validity of a will. 
  • Testator received undue influence in creating, signing will — The testator must not receive any undue influence from a potential beneficiary or anyone else seeking to lay claims on the assets in the will.  
  • Fraud — Related to the previous item, the testator may be pressured into signing a document that he or she believes is something else, like a power of attorney or property deed. People may use various methods to fraudulently obtain a testator’s signature on a will. 

These are but a few reasons why a last will and testament can be contested in probate. Those who feel they need to contest a will should consult with an experienced estate litigation attorney in Nevada. A lawyer will review all aspects of the case and work closely with the client to help him or her obtain the favorable outcomes they seek while holding any unscrupulous influencers or other individuals seeking to defraud the testator accountable for their actions.