What are the legal grounds needed to contest a will?

| Jun 30, 2021 | Will Disputes |

Many people write wills that detail how their estate should get distributed once they pass away. If you believe that someone’s last wishes weren’t followed, you can contest their will. Should you plan on contesting a will in Pennsylvania, there are a few things you’ll need to do. Here are three steps to take before you can officially contest a will.

Find out about your standing

The first step you’ll need to take is finding out if you’re eligible to contest a will. Only an entity or person with standing can contest this document. You’ll need to either be a beneficiary or intestate heir in the will you’re contesting.

Determine if you have sufficient grounds

You must have sufficient grounds for will disputes. Here are the four grounds commonly used to contest a will:

• The will was illegally signed or forged.
• A decedent created their will in an altered mental state.
• A person or entity persuaded a decedent into making a will in their favor.
• The will was procured through fraudulent methods.

Don’t delay in filing your contest

Once you have proper standing and sufficient grounds to contest a will, there’s one more thing to take care of: You must file your will contest as soon as possible. If you wait too long to file this document, the decedent’s estate will get distributed according to what’s in their will.

Considering the complexity of contesting wills, most people contact an estate attorney for assistance with this process. An attorney may help ensure that you meet all will contesting requirements. Your attorney may also help you make your case before a probate judge.