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Why are wills challenged in probate?

| Mar 23, 2021 | Estate Planning

A will is an important testamentary document. Kentucky residents who choose to execute estate plans often include them when they prepare for the distribution of their wealth at the end of their lives. A well-drafted will provides information and clarity to those who are responsible for administering the decedent’s estate plan, but a vague will can create confusion and conflict between possible will beneficiaries.

Will contests in probate happen when individuals disagree about provisions of wills or whether decedents were capable of creating wills. No part of this post is legal advice, and readers should take this post as information only. Any issues or questions that readers are currently facing regarding their estate plans or wills should be directed to local attorneys who handle estate and probate matters.

Common reasons for will challenges

As stated, confusion and vagueness can lead to will challenges after a testator dies. Some of the reasons that wills get challenged in probate include, but are not limited to:

  • Having multiple executed wills at one time;
  • Lacking testamentary capacity to execute a will;
  • Failing on a technical element, such as a lack of witnesses or signatures; and
  • Having evidence of fraud or duress imposed on a testator during the creation of their will.

When a will is challenged, it can delay and drag out the administration process of probate. There are steps individuals can take to prevent their wills from being challenged and to make the administration process of their estates more efficient.

Preventing will challenges before the start

One way that individuals can take proactive steps to prevent will challenges after their deaths is to ensure that their wills are executed in compliance with all laws. This can mean taking the time to work with an estate planning attorney who knows what requirements Kentucky imposes on wills and understands the standards that probated wills will be held do when testators pass away. Though there are no guarantees in the law and this post does not provide legal advice, individuals can benefit from the counsel of estate planning attorneys when the prepare and execute their wills.