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How can someone challenge a will?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2021 | Estate Administration & Probate |

After someone dies, their will may be read as family and friends listen to who receives what. Not everyone will be happy with what they receive. To challenge a will, the person needs to have “standing.”

The executor of a will may be tasked with ensuring that the wishes of the deceased are being carried out. This may be a difficult task, even if the person who has died has left behind a simple will disposing of their assets. Should the estate involve a high dollar amount or several assets, the work may become even more difficult.

After the will has been read, someone may decide to challenge the will. The executor may realize that the person challenging a will may legally have it declared invalid.

Who is able to challenge a will?

Probate law says that only those persons who have an “interest” regarding the will may be able to contest or challenge its contents. These may include spouses, heirs, children or anyone else who may have a claim against the estate. Creditors and devisees may also challenge a will. Devisees are those who are receiving property rather than money.

Once this happens, the executor may find that they are now even busier as they try to figure out who may win their challenge. Having a solid strategy to respond to the challenge allows the executor to protect themselves and the contents of the will. The executor may also have to decide whether the challenge should go to court or not.

What is standing?

Typically, state laws may require anyone who is challenging a will to have “standing.” Anyone who has been named on the face of the will has standing. This may be the beneficiary. Someone who may receive something or lose what was given to them if the will is found to be invalid also has standing.