When a will is submitted to the probate court, you might assume that the process will simply proceed as expected. However, in some situations, someone might raise challenges regarding the validity of the will. These challenges can be brought by anyone who would be adversely impacted should the will be executed as-is.
There are specific reasons why someone might bring a will contest, including:
Lack of capacity – People must have testamentary capacity to draft a valid will, and if they did not understand the implications of drafting a will or the nature of their beneficiaries or property, the will should not be honored.
Forgery or fraud – If someone induced the testator to sign the will by fraud or misrepresentation, or if someone altered the will after it was signed, it should be deemed invalid.
Undue influence – Sometimes, a family member or friend might get close with an older individual, perhaps in a care-taking role, and use this relationship to wrongfully convince them to alter their will. This means the will favors the influencer and often deprives others beneficiaries of their rightful inheritance.
When a will contest arises, it can delay and complicate the probate process extensively. These challenges are difficult to prove, and they can often drag a lot of personal information into court to try to shed light on what the testator was thinking.
Whether you are the executor of a will or someone questioning the validity of the will, you need the right legal representation throughout this process.
Discuss Your Situation with a Probate Lawyer in Illinois
The law office of Charles T. Newland helps with every type of probate case, even complex cases involving will contests. Contact us online or call 847.797.9300 to learn how an Illinois probate lawyer can assist you today. We can guide you through the process.