A will is essentially a set of instructions provided by a living or deceased individual. The instructions within the will should be carried out by the surviving family members or parties mentioned in the will. However, family members often disagree about the legitimacy of the will or the instructions it entails. In this case, a family member would contest the details of the will with the help of a lawyer. Luckily, there are lawyers available to handle will contests in Gurnee and other cities.
A will can only be contested if there’s a legitimate reason for doing so. For instance, a surviving relative or family member who suspects that a will wasn’t properly signed would have grounds to contest it. Although requirements for wills vary from state to state, most states require a will to be signed by a testator in front of two or more witnesses. Failing to do this is a common problem among testators, and this often leads to will contests in Gurnee.
States also require that the testator be of sound mind when legitimizing the will. Often times testators are very ill when making out their wills and mistakes are often made. For instance, it’s not uncommon for wills to be made while some testators are in the last moments of their lives. Surviving family members could argue that the deceased testator wasn’t fully aware of what they were doing, or that they were pressured into signing the will.
Witnesses play a huge role in determining the legitimacy of wills, and this is why the witness must be just as competent as the testator. For instance, a testator cannot claim underage children as witnesses because they may not have the mental capacity to understand what they’re witnessing. However, if competent witnesses are involved in the process, it really doesn’t matter who disagrees with the terms of the will.
These are just a few instances that could call for a will to be contested. Again, all wills must be properly signed by a testator with multiple witnesses. Both the testator and the witnesses must be fully competent. Charles T. Newland and Associates can help any surviving family member who feels they have grounds to challenge the legitimacy of a will left by a loved one.