If a loved one has recently passed away, in addition to grieving your loss you will likely have to be involved with settling their estate. In most cases, at least some of their estate will need to go through the process of probate.
Probate is a court-supervised process. While it may sound confusing, it is simply the process of making sure that a person’s last wishes are executed and that all bills are paid. If your loved one left a will, this will be used in the probate process.
Probate litigation is the process of challenging the will. You may strongly believe that your loved one was influenced by another at the end of their life, and they changed their will because of this influence. Alternatively, you may believe that another, more recent will exists and is not being recognized. Formally making these claims is known as probate litigation or challenging a will.
What are the main reasons for challenging a will?
One of the main reasons to challenge a will is because you believe that your loved one was not in a sound mind when they updated their will. Perhaps they were suffering from dementia or mental illness when they updated their will, and you believe that the changes they made do not reflect their true wishes.
It’s also common to challenge a will because you suspect that fraud or undue influence was at play. If you think that another person influenced the will, you have the right to challenge it.
If you are uncertain about the validity of your loved one’s will, you must do what you think is right and engage in probate litigation when necessary.