Boston, Massachusetts
635 Massachusetts Ave.
Arlington, MA 02476
(781) 782-6000

Arlington Attorney Discusses 5 Reasons to Contest a Will April 11, 2018

Boston, Suffolk
Arlington Attorney Discusses 5 Reasons to Contest a Will, Boston, Massachusetts

Wills and trusts are effective estate planning tools used to outline an individual’s final wishes upon their death or incapacitation. Although these documents typically prevent disputes over the administration of an estate, there are some instances when it may be necessary to challenge the validity of a loved one’s will. To be successful in your efforts, you must be able to exhibit legal grounds for doing so. According to the attorneys at Gosselin Law, the courts will only consider overturning a will under specific circumstances. They have represented many Arlington, MA, residents who have had reason to question the authenticity of a will. Below, they offer an overview of the various grounds for contesting a will.

5 Common Grounds for Challenging a Will

1. Lack of Capacity

For a will to be valid, the testator must have created it when they were of sound mind. In other words, they have to understand the value of their assets, who their beneficiaries should be, and the impact of signing a will. If you think a loved one lacked capacity when making their will, you may be able to contest its contents with the assistance of an attorney.

2. Improper Execution

Every state has its own laws in place for the proper execution of a will. In Massachusetts, the document must be signed by the testator and two witnesses who are at least 18 years old. In addition, a self-proving affidavit cannot take the place of witnesses in probate court. If a will wasn’t signed in accordance with these state guidelines, it may be found invalid.

3. Fraud or Forgery

attorneyIn some cases, fraud or forgery provides reason to contest a will. If fraud is a factor, the testator may have been tricked into signing a will they believed was a different document. Or, they may have been fooled into adding provisions based on falsified information supplied by another person. Forgery means the will was signed by someone illegally acting as the testator.

4. Undue Influence

If a testator has become physically or mentally weak, they may be easily influenced by others. In a situation like this, it’s possible for a will to be drafted under pressure so it follows the wishes of someone other than the testator. This is referred to as undue influence.

5. The Existence of Another Will

A will may also be contested on the grounds that there is another will in existence. Typically, if a more current document surfaces, that one will be recognized as valid by the courts. Another issue may arise if a will doesn’t revoke part of an older will that should be enforced.  

If you believe you can prove a loved one’s will is invalid based on one of these grounds, explore your legal options with an experienced estate planning attorney. The team at Gosselin Law has extensive knowledge of probate law and will help you gather the necessary evidence to support your argument. Contact them at (781) 782-6000 to proceed with your case. You can also visit their website for more information.

Other Announcements, Events and Deals from Gosselin Law
What Contract Law Disputes Are & How Attorneys Will Help, Boston, Massachusetts
Whether you’re a business owner initiating a relationship with a new vendor or hiring a wedding photographer, you will most likely need to sign a contract. These documents are legall...read more
Why Startups Should Hire a Business Attorney, Boston, Massachusetts
When most entrepreneurs establish a startup, they are busy thinking about funding, budgets, staffing, and how to successfully create their innovative idea into something concret...read more
Local Attorneys Explain What Goes Into a Contract, Boston, Massachusetts
A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties that establishes a responsibility to do or not do particular tasks. If one party fails to follow the terms ...read more
5 Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney, Boston, Massachusetts
Estate planning plays an integral role in ensuring your final wishes are honored and your loved ones are taken care of after your death. Since this is so important, you can’t af...read more
How a Business Attorney Helps With Mergers & Acquisitions, Boston, Massachusetts
When your business is growing or merging with other companies, it means a different future and an exciting new direction for your enterprise. Not surprisingly, the legal aspects of m...read more