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Protesting a Will

Developing a strong and legally binding estate plan is crucial to ensure your assets are handled appropriately after you’re gone. When there are questions about a will, or a beneficiary believes that the document is not legally sound, they may choose to protest the will.

Here at Walk-In Wills, we know the benefits of working with an experienced estate planning attorney. By getting professional assistance, you may be able to avoid will protests and ensure a smooth process for your heirs.

Why Do People Choose to Challenge a Will?

Wills can be contested for numerous reasons, including:

  • Neglected Legal Requirements – In Arizona, certain laws dictate the creation of wills. The testator must be 18 years of age, of sound mind, and make decisions without the influence of others. Additionally, the document must be signed with two witnesses present.
  • Questionable Testamentary Capacity – Testamentary capacity refers to the mental condition of the estate holder. For instance, a will might be contested if it’s believed that the testator suffered from dementia at the time when the document was being created.
  • Undue Influence or Coercion – Coercion occurs when the estate holder is subject to deception, manipulation, or intimidation regarding the decisions made within a will. In this case, the person challenging the will would need to furnish proof establishing undue influence.

While less common, a will can also be challenged on the basis of fraud. In this case, a person might claim a will has been forged and that the signature isn’t genuine.

Who Can Challenge a Will?

Anyone named in the will, i.e., beneficiaries, can protest its validity. Heirs, meaning family relations, most often challenge wills. This is because family members typically receive some portion of assets when decisions are made according to state laws. This is the case when a person dies without a will in place, which is known as dying intestate.

How Can You Rest Assured That Your Will Is Valid?

The best way to avoid a will protest is by creating a will that adheres to all pertinent laws. Discussing your thought process with beneficiaries can also clear up confusion and show you were thoughtful in your decisions. Some people also choose to include a no-contest clause, which says that anyone who protests a will receives nothing.

The most important step to take is to create a will with the help of a seasoned attorney, and our compassionate team at Walk-In Wills is here to lend a hand.

Schedule a free consultation at our office today by calling (480) 470-7000. You can also contact us to learn more about our firm and what we can do for you.