When a will is submitted to the probate court following a death, the court must approve the will as valid before the probate process can proceed. While most wills are deemed valid, there are situations in which someone might have reason to challenge the validity of certain provisions or even the entire will. The following are only three examples of when you might want to bring a will contest in probate court.
Adults over age 18 with a “sound mind” can create a will. Someone might lack the mental capacity to create or amend a will if any of the following apply:
- They do not understand the nature of their property
- They do not recognize the effects of signing a will
- They are unsure who their likely beneficiaries would be
If someone lacked this capacity, the will or relevant amendments should be invalid.
Undue Influence or Fraud
Sometimes, unlikely people might get close to a testator and wrongfully influence them to change a will in their favor, often to the detriment of other beneficiaries. People can also use fraud to trick a testator into signing a will or including certain provisions. If you believe someone took advantage of your deceased family member to your detriment, you might challenge the will.
If you think that the will submitted to probate is not the most recent document the testator created, you can seek to have the previous will invalidated and have the most recent will honored.
Consult with a Probate Lawyer in Illinois Today
Will contests are complicated, and Illinois probate attorney Charles Newland can assist you and your family. Contact us online or call 847.797.9300 to set up an appointment to discuss your concerns and learn your options to stand up for your rights as a beneficiary.