Contest a Will in New Mexico

Estate planning is not always a cut and dry process. Even if you have relatively few assets, your heirs might still find fault with how estate decisions have been made, which can lead to them contesting the will.

What happens when a will is contested? Walk-In Wills can explain this and many other estate planning processes to clients in New Mexico. We’ll answer your questions, as well as provide a strategy for dealing with will challenges, which can cause both personal and legal strife within a family.

Who Is Allowed to Contest a Will?

Only people with standing are permitted to contest a will. This includes heirs, whether or not they were actually named within a will. For example, an heir that was left out of the will altogether can claim that their absence was unintentional or caused by someone else’s undue influence. Beneficiaries, or those named within a will, also have standing. In addition to heirs, beneficiaries also include friends, business partners, and even charities.

What Are Some Reasons Why a Will Might Be Contested?

There are a number of reasons why a person may choose to contest a will, such as the following:

  • Testamentary Capacity – This refers to a person’s mental capacity to make decisions regarding a will. For instance, a person with cognitive issues will likely not be considered to be of sound mind when it comes to will creation. Minors also lack the testamentary capacity to create a will.
  • Undue Influence – Sometimes, the creators of wills are influenced by others for their own personal gain. Fraud is another issue, which entails a false will being made and signed by someone other than the estate holder.
  • A Newer Version of the Will – If a new version of the will is discovered and is considered to be valid, it will take precedent over any previous versions.
  • Problems With Provisions – If essential provisions are missing, the will may be deemed invalid. All wills must state that they express the wishes of the creator, include at least one clause (such as leaving an asset to an heir), and appointment a personal representative to be considered valid.

Can Will Challenges Be Prevented?

No-contest clauses aim to prevent will challenges by presenting an all or nothing choice to beneficiaries. For instance, if a person is unhappy with what they receive and choose to contest the will, a no-contest clause may leave them with nothing. However, more and more courts are finding no-contest clauses to be inadmissible. As long as you have standing, you are well within your rights to contest a will.

Don’t Face a Will Contest Alone

A contested will can be a stressful experience for the loved ones of the deceased. With our assistance, you can face a will contest with a clear mind and a reliable legal strategy in place, thanks to Walk-In Wills. Call (505) 903-7000 to schedule a free one-hour consultation with an attorney.

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