When a person passes away, the ones who are left behind might not believe the terms set in the will. Unfortunately, this situation can require legal action. As you can imagine, it can rip families apart when they should be coming together to mourn the person who died.
A person can only contest a will if they have a valid reason to do so and if they have legal standing. In some cases, it is difficult to meet these requirements. Whether you think that you need to file a contest or find out that a family member will, you should know all you can.
Reasons for a will contest
For a court to enforce a will, it must meet the legal requirements for one. The state law covers what is necessary. One of the primary considerations is that the person who wrote the will must have been legally able to. This means that they are mentally competent to understand the implications of the terms of the document. For this reason, people should have a will in place early, so they don’t start to suffer from dementia before setting the will.
Duress and bribery have no place in an estate. Finding out that the decedent was forced to sign a will or to change the term is a valid reason to challenge the will. These can be difficult to prove because they must go beyond just verbal threats. An example of what might meet the standard is if the person in charge of the testator’s accounts withholds payment for necessities or keeps the person away from family members until they set the will in the way they are instructed.
Legal standing for a will contest
Only people who have legal standing can contest a will. A person who is in the intestate succession can contest a will. A person who was named in a previous version of the will, even if they aren’t in the intestate succession list, can do this. You can’t challenge the will if you don’t have a legal interest in the estate.
It is sometimes difficult to deal with this type of situation because it might take a lot of time and effort. Sometimes, mediation or similar methods might help to resolve things. Ensure that you find out your legal rights in Illinois before making any decisions about the outcome of the estate.