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On what grounds can a will be contested?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Estate Planning

A will is a legal document that outlines the intentions of the testator in terms of how their assets should be distributed upon their death. Factors such as guardians for minor children can also be addressed in a will. 

In short, it’s a very important document. In some cases, a will may be contested. There are a number of reasons why this may happen. 

Outlined below are some common grounds for will contests:

The testator was not of sound mind 

A will must accurately reflect the wishes of the testator. They must be in a position to fully comprehend the terms of the will. If the testator was vulnerable at the time of drafting, then it could be argued that they lacked testamentary capacity. This means that they were not fully able to understand the terms of the will, so these terms cannot truly reflect their wishes. 

If a testator was potentially vulnerable, then they may also have been subjected to undue influence. This occurs when someone in a position of power or trust asserts pressure on the testator to draft terms or modify them. 

The legal process wasn’t followed 

In Arkansas, testors must be at least 18 years old. The will must also be drafted in writing. The signing of the will must also be witnessed by two responsible parties who are not set to inherit from the will. If the proper legal processes were not followed, this could result in will contests. 

Will contests can put tremendous strain on family members. Contests also put the inheritance of your loved ones at risk. The best way to reduce risks like this is to have legal guidance behind you while you are estate planning.