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To challenge or not to challenge a will

For many people, finding out they have lost a loved one is difficult enough without having to deal with probate court and the will. However, when someone finds out they have been cut out of a will without their knowledge or for no reason, the loss may be even more difficult. While it is always nice to know that your loved one thought of you when divvying up their estate, it can be hurtful and confusing when someone you thought would leave you something doesn't. In the event that a loved one you previously thought had you in their will passes away and strangely leaves you nothing, you may consider challenging the will.

In most successful cases it is the spouse that challenges the will; however, anyone that stands to benefit from the deceased's estate may challenge it. Challenging a will is usually very difficult to do as the probate court is not too likely to change the wishes of the deceased because someone didn't get what they wanted. However, if you have reason to believe that your loved one was not of sound mind or perhaps was under undue influence, you may have a case to challenge the will.

Any adult that is of sound mind may form a will. If a person suffers from certain cognitive conditions such as dementia, they may not have the testamentary capacity needed to properly form a will and designate their estate. Likewise, if an individual is under undue influence or the victim of fraud, a will may be challenged.

If you have lost a loved one and wish to challenge their will in probate, or want to discuss your will, consider speaking to a trusted elder law attorney. With their help you can form a will and solid estate plan.

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