Just because a Tennessee resident appears to have signed and dated a will, it does not mean that the will is going to be valid. There are a lot of rules and regulations that go into the validation of a will, and there are many ways that such a document could be contested in court. Following are some of the primary reasons for contesting a will:
Lack of testamentary capacity: The primary factor in having "testamentary capacity." That refers to the legal grounds to draft and file a will, Was the person 18 years old at the time that he or she drafted the will in question? If the answer is yes, testamentary capacity is likely to exist. However, the adult might not have testamentary capacity if he or she was not mentally sound enough to understand the will in question at the time it was executed. In this respect, an individual could lose testamentary capacity if he or she was suffering from insanity, dementia, senility or some other condition that renders him or her mentally incapacitated.
Forgery, fraud and coercion: A will might also be invalidated if Tennessee authorities determine that it was a fraud, that it was born out of forgery or the testator was forced to sign and agree to it due to coercion.
A previous will is more accurate: If the first will gets invalidated for any reason, the previous will could end up superseding it.
Lack of appropriate witnesses: Usually, states require that two witnesses be present at the moment of signing the will. That's the requirement in Tennessee. However, some states require three witnesses are required. These witnesses must not be beneficiaries of the will. Lacking such witnesses would render the document much more vulnerable to being challenged.
These are four the most common reasons for a will contestation, but they are not the only reasons why wills get invalidated by Tennessee courts. If you suspect that your loved one's will is invalid, you might want to investigate your legal rights and options for challenging the document in court.