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Facts to understand about contesting a will

On Behalf of | May 3, 2021 | Estate Planning

Some Pennsylvania residents may believe that a loved one’s will is invalid or was made inappropriately. When this happens, a person can challenge the validity of the will, which will affect the probate process. However, there are only specific people who are allowed to contest a person’s will.

Who may contest a will?

In general, the only people allowed to contest a will are those who are financially affected by the terms of the will. These can include disinherited heirs or beneficiaries in a previous will. These individuals are said to have standing, which means they have the legal right to contest a person’s will in a court of law. When contesting a will, it’s always advisable to have a probate and estate administration lawyer by your side so that you understand the legal grounds for the contesting process and how it works.

Can minors contest a will?

Unfortunately, minors are not given the legal right to contest a will. The court states that minors lack the right to initiate any sort of legal proceedings until they reach the age of maturity. However, many states will allow a parent or guardian of the minor to challenge the will on the minor’s behalf.

Understanding no-contest clauses

When a grantor believes that their will may be contested after their passing, they may include a no-contest clause. This clause basically states that any beneficiary who contests the will must lose their inheritance in the event that their challenge is unsuccessful. However, if the will is considered invalid, the person challenging the will would still receive assets based on the state’s intestacy laws of asset distribution.

Contesting a will is not something that just anyone can do. If you’re thinking of contesting a will, you’ll need to ensure that you’re eligible to do so based on your connection to the deceased person. You also want to consider any backlash, such as a no-contest clause.



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