What might invalidate a will?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Estates

Probate is a process that eventually leads to the distribution of the deceased’s estate. The probate process often begins after a valid will is presented to a probate court. If a will is discovered to have issues, the will could be invalidated. 

There are a few reasons why a will might be considered invalid. Here is what you should know:

Did the will contain the correct signatures?

Most valid wills must have several signatures. One signature must come from the testator. Two additional signatures must come from witnesses. These witnesses may not benefit from the will. Without these signatures, a will might not be considered valid. 

Was the will premade online?

Many people download pre-made online wills that allow them to quickly designate how their estate should be handled. Many of these online wills are not legally accurate because they were poorly written or they may lack certain information that is required under state laws.

Was the will handwritten?

A will that is handwritten by the testator is considered a holographic will. Several states, including Indiana, do not consider holographic wills as valid.

Did the testator have a cognitive impairment? 

Another requirement for a valid will is that the testator must have been in sound mind at the time they signed their will. If a testator suffered from a cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease, then the will may include the testator’s true intentions. Likewise, if a testator was inebriated or under the influence of a substance, the will may not be valid. 

It can be important for beneficiaries and estate executors to identify whether a will is considered valid. Seeking legal help may help with this process.