Reasons to Contest a Will in California | What to Know

probate process

If you are the beneficiary of a will and something seems off, you may consider contesting the will. Read on to learn more about the process and what it entails.

Why contest a will in California?

There are a number of reasons a beneficiary may wish to contest a will. One of the most common reasons is that he or she believes that there is an issue with the validity of the will. Other times, an individual contests a will because he or believes he did not receive a fair share, etc.

Who can contest a will?

Not just anyone can contest a will. A will can only be contested by the executor of the will, any heirs, spouses, creditors, or anyone else with a property right or claim against the estate.

What is a valid will?

In order for a will to be considered valid, it must be created under the following circumstances:

  • The testator must be at least 18 years old and of “sound mind and memory”
  • The testator must either sign the will themselves or another person must sign the testator’s name at their direction and in their presence
  • At least two people must witness the signature and sign their names on the will within 30 days of each other
  • At some point during the will’s execution and attestation, the testator must tell each witness that the document is their will

Some of the most typical causes a will is found invalid include:

  • If the will was not executed properly
  • If fraud or forgery took place
  • If it was created under the influence of another party
  • If the deceased was not mentally competent when writing the will

What will a court do with an invalid will?

In the event that a court deems a will invalid, it will likely be thrown out. If there is no backup will, the deceased individual’s assets will be passed on through the California succession plan.

Contesting a will is difficult because the process often takes place during a time of mourning and legal issues may be the last thing on your mind. Our firm is here to walk you through the process and advocate for you every step of the way. Reach out today to speak with an experienced and empathetic estate planning attorney.

Contact Our California Firm

Estate planning is a more urgent matter than you may think. You never know what the future holds. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.

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