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Reasons that a will might be invalidated

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Uncategorized

A will is the foundational element of virtually any estate plan. It provides instructions on how assets should be divided upon a person’s death. It can also serve other purposes such as naming a guardian for minor children.

Nonetheless, for a will to be legally enforceable, it must be drafted according to relevant laws of the state. If these laws are not adhered to, then a will may be invalidated. Without a valid will, a person dies intestate. This means that the courts decide how their assets should be divided.

Why might a will be deemed invalid?

Lack of testamentary capacity

While any adult can draft a will, they must possess testamentary capacity at the time of drafting for their will to be valid. This means that they must understand the implications of the will, such as how the assets will be divided. In some cases, an individual may have physical or mental health conditions that impact their testamentary capacity. For example, an individual with dementia may not fully understand the implications of the clauses in their will.

Undue influence

As mentioned, vulnerable individuals may not understand the terms of their will. Unfortunately, people who are particularly vulnerable may also be susceptible to being manipulated. For example, a caregiver may force a person to make changes to their will so that they receive certain assets. This type of behavior is known as undue influence. If a person asserts pressure or manipulates someone into drafting specific terms in a will, then it can potentially be deemed invalid.

When drafting a will or making changes, seeking legal guidance can help ensure that all of the appropriate steps are taken. This reduces the chances of a will being contested or deemed invalid by the courts down the road.