A will is the creator’s instructions for what is going to happen to their assets when they pass away. This isn’t something that is easy for them to consider; however, they do it to lessen the stress on their loved ones after they die. Unfortunately, these wills aren’t always what those left behind expect. In some cases, a person will file a challenge to the will, which is also known as a will contest. This one decision can mean that the estate takes much longer to close out and that the process will be much lengthier.

Not just anyone can contest a will. There are very specific individuals who can do this. Typically, it can only be filed by a person who was in a previous version of the will or who is named in the state’s succession laws as having a valid interest in the estate.

It also isn’t possible to file a contest to a will based on nothing. There has to be a valid reason, which includes claims that the person was coerced into writing the will. Lack of testamentary capacity, forgery and claims of a newer will can also lead to someone challenging the will.

If you are concerned that your loved one’s will isn’t valid, take the time to learn about what options you have. A contested will does have the possibility of ripping a family apart. You would have to decide if that is worth the chance to get what you think is due to you. Once you know what you want to do, you can move forward with your chosen path.