When it is time for a Massachusetts family to settle a loved one’s estate, it will typically happen according to the terms of the decedent’s will. While most estates go through the probate process without too many complications, that is not always the case. There are times when there is a dispute over the will, or it may even be necessary to challenge someone’s will. Anyone who has a vested interest in the will, such as a family member or heir, can do this.
It is usually quite difficult to challenge a will. There are specific reasons that may make it necessary for a family member, beneficiary or heir to do this, and they include:
- There is evidence of undue influence, fraud, forgery or other types of coercion.
- The decedent lacked the testamentary capacity to make changes to a will or draft a new will.
- There is another will, and it should trump the most recent version of the decedent’s will.
- The current will is not typed, and/or there were not sufficient witnesses when it was signed.
- Provisions included in the will are not legal, or they are not valid.
Challenging a will can be a complex and lengthy process. There is significant benefit in working with an experienced Massachusetts attorney who can provide insight and guidance at every step. If there are grounds to challenge someone’s will, there are steps one can take in the pursuit of an outcome that is fair and reasonable to concerned parties. This may include amending terms, invalidating certain parts of the will or invalidating the entire will.