Massachusetts law sets forth certain situations in which a last will and testament can be contested upon the death of the individual who created it. There are a number of factors to bear in mind if you want to contest a will, including a will that was executed not long before the person who wrote the instrument passed on.
Common grounds for contesting a will
There are a number of reasons why will contests are initiated. The mere fact that a person’s will was executed shortly before death is not in and of itself sufficient grounds to support a will contest. Some of the more commonplace reasons for contesting a will include the person who executed the will lacked the capacity to do so.
When it comes to a will contest arising out of an instrument signed not long before death, lack of capacity is a common contention. Capacity means that the individual executing a will understands what he or she is doing, intends to create and execute a will and generally understands the nature and extent of his or her assets.
Coercion is another grounds for will contests. An individual must create and execute a last will and testament as a fully free and voluntary act.
Deception is yet another reason why a will can be contested. In simple terms, a person cannot be duped into signing a will.
Bear in mind that under Massachusetts law, a specific timeframe exists within which you can lodge an objection to or contest a will. You are well served scheduling an initial consultation with an experienced Massachusetts estate and probate lawyer to better understand your options.