Albuquerque, NM, Will Contest Attorney

Despite what the Hollywood films would have you believe, will contests are rare. However, they do happen, and when a dispute arises, it can result in lengthy and costly litigation. The will contest attorneys at Walk-In Wills have nearly two decades of experience contesting, disputing and litigating wills and trusts. Though disputing your loved one’s legacy may be the last thing you want to do at this difficult time in your life, our compassionate team can make the process as easy on you as possible by advising you on what you can do to protect your loved one’s wishes and your inheritance rights.

Legal Grounds for Contesting a Will in Albuquerque

To contest a will in New Mexico, you must have a valid reason for doing so. To prevent the filing of erroneous claims, the state, like most others, has established legal grounds for contesting a will. Those are as follows:

  • Lack of Capacity: For a will to be valid, it must have been created by a person who had the mental capacity to understand the nature and extent of assets in his or her estate and to be able to identify heirs. To challenge a will on this basis, you must be able to present medical evidence that demonstrates the testator’s mental incapacity.
  • Undue Influence: Undue influence occurs when one person forms a relationship with an elderly person with the sole intent of inheriting or acquiring some, most or all of said elderly person’s estate. Though any person can commit undue influence, the sad truth is that the crime is often committed by those closest to the testator, such as a trusted caregiver, grandchild or child.
  • Fraud, Forgery or Mistake: Though these legal grounds differ, each involves the use of deceit to acquire favorable gifts, a stake in the inheritance or both. In less obvious cases, the guilty party may attempt to add a provision that gifts certain assets to him or her. In more overt cases, a person may fabricate an entirely new will and forge the testator’s signature in an attempt to deceive the courts.
  • Duress: Duress may occur when a person coerces an elderly or dying individual into signing a will or trust by means of threat of force, force or coercion.
  • Lack of Formalities: Every state has specific formulas and requirements that wills must follow in order for them to be enforceable. If your loved one’s will does not contain the proper language or meet specific requirements, you may have grounds to challenge the will.

Requirements for Contesting a Will in New Mexico

Not everyone can contest a will in New Mexico — only those with an interest in the will may pursue legal action. Interested parties are individuals who are either named as beneficiaries in the will or who would be eligible to inherit under New Mexico’s laws of intestacy. You do not have to be a relative of the deceased to defend or bring a will contest dispute in court. For instance, everyone from family members to friends to business partners to charities may all contest a will in Albuquerque.

No-Contest Provisions

It is important to note that some testators include no-contest provisions. Though no-contest provisions do not prevent parties from disputing the terms of a will, they do stipulate that any party who contests a will and loses stands to lose the inheritance he or she would have received otherwise. These provisions are designed to mitigate frivolous contests that have little to no supporting evidence.

Retain an Experienced Albuquerque Will Contests Attorney

Whether you want to create a foolproof will that leaves little to no room for interpretation, want to contest a will or hope to dispute a will contest, the compassionated and experienced legal team at Walk-In Wills has the knowledge and resources to help you achieve your objectives.

For the guidance and legal support you need at this difficult time in your life, call us at (505) 903-7000 to schedule your free, one-hour consultation today.

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