An estate plan should consist of documents created to ensure that those you appoint carry out your wishes. The probate process confirms that your property transfers to those you designate.
In some cases, a will may not make it through court without someone challenging it. What does this mean for the estate and those administering it? Discover some of why someone may file a will contest in Indiana.
Who can contest a will?
The first step in contesting a will is proving standing to do so. The law only allows interested parties to file a contest. This means the person must show he or she has a family connection, a business connection or is a possible heir.
What are the grounds by which a will contest occurs?
Once the court confirms the person’s interest in the estate, he or she must provide a basis for the challenge. This may fall under one of several categories.
This argument centers around the possibility that a third party manipulated you into changing your will. Biological children omitted in favor of a new spouse may try and dispute the will using this argument.
When creating a will, you need to attest to your physical and mental health. If someone comes along and claims you were not of “sound mind or body” when creating the will, the court may consider the contest.
When someone challenges a will claiming fraud, it implies that you signed a document under false pretenses. One example is you thought the will you signed was accurate, but someone switched it for a different one.
Other grounds for contesting a will include:
- Administrative error (in the will)
- Not executed properly
- No witnesses, etc.
When creating your estate plan, transparency may go a long way in ensuring your wishes get followed and that the proceedings go smoothly.