What is a Will Contest?

What is a Will Contest

Under Michigan law, any interested person can challenge the legal validity of another person’s will, either before or after it is admitted to probate. Interested persons include spouses, children, heirs, and anyone who has a property right in or a claim against the deceased person’s estate. As a general rule, in order to contest a will, your financial interest in the estate must be adversely affected in some way by the will being admitted to probate. For instance, suppose that your mother executed a will during her lifetime that named you as the sole beneficiary of her estate, since your father was already deceased. Unbeknownst to you, she executed another will six months later that revoked the first will and removed you as the beneficiary of her estate. After your mother dies, you have the right to contest the second will because admitting it to probate would leave you with no inheritance, whereas admitting the first will to probate would leave you with your mother’s entire estate.

Aside from standing to contest a will, you also must have a legitimate reason to contest the will. Some common reasons to contest a will include the following:

  • The testator was incompetent or incapacitated at the time he or she executed the will.
  • The testator executed the will as a result of fraud or misrepresentation.
  • Someone exerted undue influence or pressure on the testator to execute the will.
  • The testator made a mistake in executing the will.
  • The will was executed incorrectly, due to a lack of witnesses or another procedural deficiency.

There are strict timeframes that you must follow in order to file a will contest. If you do not meet these deadlines, you can lose your ability to contest the will altogether. Therefore, it is essential that you contact an experienced will contest attorney as quickly as possible.

If you are facing a will contest or any other type of estate or probate-related dispute, the Ann Arbor estate lawyers of Legacy Law Center have the experience that you need. We know how to evaluate the evidence and put you in the best position possible with respect to your dispute. We are your trusted advisors who are skilled in looking at all facets of your life, evaluating your needs, and working collaboratively with you and your family to resolve any disputes in conjunction with a loved one’s estate. Contact Legacy Law Center today and learn how we can help you make the right decisions for you and your family.

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