When can a will be contested? 

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2023 | Estate Administration

The importance of estate planning cannot be overstated. By drafting a will, trusts and other estate planning documents, you can make provisions for the future of your loved ones after you have gone. 

Unfortunately, the execution of estate planning documents does not always go as smoothly as anticipated. In some instances, interested parties may contest your will. Why does this happen? 

Suggestions of undue influence 

A will and other estate planning documents must only reflect the true wishes of the creator. While family members and friends can be part of the discussions, they should not attempt to impose their own demands. If manipulative tactics have been used to assert undue influence on the creator, then this can be a legitimate reason to raise a contest. 

Lack of capacity 

For a will to be valid in Indiana, the testator must be at least 18 years old. The signing of the will should also be witnessed by two credible individuals. This is necessary to avoid the risk of fraud. 

Not only must the testator possess the appropriate legal capacity, but they must also be fully aware of what they are doing. If it can be argued that the testator was not aware of the consequences and meaning of the terms in their will, then a challenge can be raised on the basis of a lack of mental capacity. 

If you intend on making a will contest or simply want to draft your will in a valid way, then it will benefit you to seek some legal guidance. This will help ensure that the final wishes of the respective testator are honored.