When you lose a loved one, you want to carry out their final wishes and lay their memory to rest as soon as possible. Unfortunately, any challenges to the will can lengthen this already difficult process.
Colorado is seeing a dramatic increase in the probate filings it handles every year, which likely means your will isn’t the only one under contest. The intentions of your dearly departed can come under scrutiny from a range of potential benefactors who question the validity of the instructions left behind.
From distant relatives to business partners, even those not named in the will could provide cause for a will to come under close review:
- Capacity: You might have to field assumptions that your relation didn’t understand the consequences of their will. A detractor could present a case that they weren’t in their right state of mind due to senility, dementia or being under the influence. This can also mean a failure to understand the value of assets, who they should list as a benefactor or the general purpose of a will.
- Validity: You could face a challenge of the legitimacy of the will itself. Accusations of fraud and forgery are possible. Also, two people must have seen the will be signed or the departed must have notarized the will to avoid scrutiny.
- Susceptibility: Another point of contention you may have to ward off is the insistence that an interested party compelled the testator to write the will in a certain fashion. If someone who stood to benefit from the will placed undue pressure during the writing, then there could be some reason to believe the document doesn’t hold the author’s true ambitions.
Challenges to the will could impede and alter the wishes set forth by your loved one. Make sure you know of the possibilities ahead of time and are ready to address anything the arises, and you may be able to ward off delays in fulfilling their wishes.