When a loved one passes away and leaves a will, the document may need to be offered for probate. Probate is the legal process of accepting a will and identifying and distributing the assets of a deceased person’s estate. Here are three reasons why a will might need to go through a contested probate hearing.
Why a Will Goes Through a Probate Court Hearing
1. The Will Is Not Executed Properly
A family member or interested person can petition the Arkansas Probate Division for a hearing to determine whether a will is written to express the deceased person’s wishes clearly. The will’s terms cannot be carried out if the desires of the deceased are ambiguous. Attorneys can represent them and accept notices from the court on their behalf.
2. The Deceased Person Was Not Mentally Competent
Arkansas accepts both handwritten wills and attested wills for probate. To prove a will is valid and acceptable for probate, it must appear to have been written by someone at least 18 years of age who was of sound mind. A will written by someone who was mentally incompetent or not of sound mind is not valid. When wills are ruled invalid, the property is distributed under state law as if the person died without a will.
3. The Deceased Person Was Under Undue Influence
When a person writes a will, they should be expressing their wishes without being forced to make bequests. If a probate court finds that the will was written under duress, the will will be void and unenforceable.
When you are ready to write your will or want advice about probate or estate planning, contact the legal team at the Estate & Elder Law Planning Center in Mountain Home, AR. Dedicated to serving families of all sizes, this law firm offers personalized solutions and compassionate representation. To learn more about their estate planning services, visit their website now. Follow them on Twitter for more legal insight and call (870) 425-2460 to make an appointment.