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Contesting a will is not something you should ever do lightly. The document is meant to represent your loved one’s final wishes. Those need to be respected.

That said, you may honestly believe that the document does not reflect their true wishes for a variety of reasons. In a situation like that, you may be honoring them by starting a challenge to contest the estate plan. Not only may you have something to gain, but you may be able to turn the tables so that what your loved one wanted for their heirs is exactly what happens.

With this in mind, here are some of the most common reasons for a challenge:

  • You believe that the will is a fake.
  • You think that the will was only signed through fraud — for example, the person was tricked into signing it.
  • You believe that someone else influenced your loved one to create a will they didn’t really want.
  • You don’t think that the person had the proper testamentary capacity to draft the will.
  • You have a more recent will that should stand over the older copy.
  • The will does not have all of the proper provisions.
  • No one witnessed the creation of the will or those witnesses are suspect.

What you are looking for is a reason that the will is inaccurate and does not leave you or the other heirs what was honestly intended. Your challenge is a way to set things straight. You should know that this is a complex process that can take a long time, so you need to know what legal options you have.