There are a number of reasons why someone would want to contest a will. In this video segment, estate planning attorney Bill Henry discusses five ways you can contest a will.
Questions About How to Contest a Will?
Today we’re talking about five ways that you can contest a will. Well, there are more than just five, but this is probably the most common ways that people will contest a will.
5 Ways to Contest a Will
1. Undue Influence
Was the person that created the will under undue influence?
Well, what does that mean? That means that whatever the person said in their will, whoever they gave their property to, that it wasn’t what they wanted, it was actually what somebody else wanted.
In other words, there was so much influence and there was so much duress that it was no longer their intent, whenever they created the will, to give their property. It was this other person’s intent. It’s what this other person wanted to do, so undue influence.
If someone was in a position of authority, or power, or some close relationship with the person that they were exerting all this influence to cause them to create this erroneous will that wasn’t really their intent.
2. Lack of Formality
A will, in Colorado, has to meet certain requirements to be considered a will. What are those?
Requirements for a Colorado Will
Must be signed. So if you can imagine, someone that didn’t have the physical ability to sign a document, they could still tell somebody else to sign it for them. As long as it’s their intent, that’s not a problem.
Must be witnessed or notarized. The will has to be either witnessed by two people or notarized, unless that person wrote out by hand the material provisions of the will, so the important stuff in the will.
If they wrote it out by hand and then they signed it, then they don’t need to have it witnessed, and they don’t need to have it notarized.
3. Of Sound Mind
We could think of someone with very severe dementia or some other mental illness that they no longer know what they’re doing. If that’s the case, then they don’t have the capacity to create a will, and therefore that will is invalid.
4. Revoke the Will
We can think of a scenario where somebody says, “Hey, this is their will. It gave me all their property.”
And someone else could come in and challenge that and say, “No, that will was revoked,” for example. “Here’s another will that said that all prior wills were revoked.”
That would be an example of revocation.
5. A Forged Will
That person didn’t even create the will. Somebody else did it, and they wrote their name on there, but it wasn’t the person’s will at all.
Connect with Bill
I’m Bill Henry, Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney with Robinson & Henry. If you’ve got any questions on this, feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com.