If someone you love has passed away and you believe their will has been illegally influenced, or that fraud has taken place, you may have legal grounds to contest. Contesting a will is not necessarily an easy procedure, but with an experienced estate attorney on your side you can seek to make things right.
You can contest a will under the following legal grounds:
- The will was procured by fraud. Unfortunately this isn’t something that just happens in the movies. Sometimes people try to take advantage of older adults who may have diminished mental capacity by tricking them into signing a will that they did not agree to. For example, if your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia and months later they make a major change to their will, it may raise your suspicions about who was really behind that decision.
- The will was not signed in accordance with state laws. New Jersey has specific laws about how a last will and testament is created and made legal. Certain witnesses must be present and specific procedures must be followed. If they weren’t, then the will can be declared invalid.
- The person was under duress and pressured to sign their will. Bullying, coercion, and pressuring people to sign their will is not okay, and a will signed under duress can be rendered invalid.
- The person did not possess the mental faculties to understand the contents of their will. Memory issues are common in aging adults, and they may sign their will while not fully understanding its contents.
When and how to contest a will
If you have any legitimate suspicions, please contact a NJ estate planning attorney as soon as possible. They’ll work with you to gather the necessary evidence and additional documentation to prove your claim and ensure your loved one’s will is carried out appropriately. Don’t wait for a “gotcha” moment or for an admission of guilt from the person you suspect – call an attorney today.
Estate litigation in New Jersey: SCC Legal is here to assist
Contesting a will isn’t always a straightforward process, but at SCC Legal we have the experience necessary to help you find out the truth. Your loved one deserves to have their will carried out in exactly the way they intended.