When a loved one in the family passes away, emotions are usually running high and disputes between family members can easily occur. These disputes could be about many things, but they often become concerned with financial topics, especially when dealing with their loved one’s estate.
If you want to learn how to better deal with estate disputes or you want to plan for or prevent them, it is a good idea to take the time to understand the most common reasons why people contest wills.
When it is believed that the deceased person lacked the testamentary capacity to make the will
To write a valid will, a person must be determined to have the mental capacity to do so. If a person is suffering from dementia or mental illness and writes their will in a compromised state of mind, it may not be valid. To be considered to have testamentary capacity, a person should have full awareness of what they are doing and the consequences that it will have.
When undue influence is at play
Vulnerable and elderly people are often subject to undue influence from those with selfish intentions. If your loved one became close with someone at the end of their life and included them in their will, you may be concerned that the beneficiary exercised undue influence to gain a portion of their inheritance.
When the will was a product of fraud
A will should always be reviewed before signing. Those that are not reviewed may be liable to fraud, because the will may have been altered to reflect the fraudulent party’s interests. If you believe that your loved one was a victim of fraud, you may also be able to argue that they lacked testamentary capacity.
When the will was not correctly validated
Wills need to be signed by the testator, and witnesses are usually required to be present. Witnesses must also sign the document. If the will is not signed in the correct way, it will not be valid and it will be eligible to be contested.
If you are considering contesting your loved one’s will in Oregon, you should understand more about what to expect and how the process works.