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Contesting a Will

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | Will Contests

If you have been involved with a will before, then you might know that sometimes people in Massachusetts are not happy with the way that the will plays out. Heirs might be surprised that they were left out or that what they received was not what they expected. Contesting a will is the process of arguing that the existing will is not valid.

How to contest a will

There are three ways to contest a will: show that there was fraud, so that there was coercion to force the deceased to change their will, or show that the deceased had compromised mental capacity when they wrote the will. Any of these could overturn or alter the will, but there is a high bar to prove any of them. Courts are reluctant to overturn an existing will without strong evidence.

One of the challenges of contesting a will is that you need to pay the legal fees for the process. Anyone planning to challenge a will has to do the math to make sure that the benefit in terms of what they might get is more than what they will have to pay the lawyer. Will contests can take time, and that time means more lawyer fees.

A will contest is not something to take on lightly, but the potential benefits can be large. The larger the estate, the more there is to be gained from a contest, but this is a financially and emotionally draining process. It takes careful thought to determine if a will contest is the best way to resolve any outstanding concerns, and if the plaintiff has strong evidence to prove one of the three conditions.