If a loved one recently passed away and you have discovered that the will on file is either incorrect, incomplete or otherwise invalid, you might wonder if you have any recourse. In most cases, you can contest the will of a direct relative under sufficient grounds.
There are a few common situations in which you can contest a will.
Do you have a newer version of the will?
If the will the court has is not the most current and you have a more recent version, you can contest the will and have the new one reviewed for legitimacy. Provided that the new one has a more current date, contains the proper signatures and is clearly intended to replace the one in use, the court may rule in your favor.
Was there an oversight?
Sometimes, a new marriage or the birth of an additional child can complicate matters after the death of a family member. If the deceased did not address the change in the will on file, you might argue that it was an unintentional oversight.
Can you prove coercion?
There are instances where a family member will coerce an aging loved one into making changes to their will even if they cannot fully understand the situation. If you have evidence of decreased mental capacity at the time, you can contest the change.
Recognize the instances when it is beneficial to contest a will. This helps ensure the integrity of the estate distribution as the deceased would have intended, even if that is not reflected in the current will.