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A few ways you might be able to contest a will

If you're not happy with the way you were treated in your loved one's will, don't feel guilty or bad. It could be that the will was not legally valid. It could be that the will was not what your loved one actually wanted. It could be that you have a viable will contest claim to make that would allow you to receive your just inheritance.

Here are a few common reasons for a will to be invalid:

Do-it-yourself wills

In these wills, the creator of the will writes it him or herself. However, many of these self-written wills don't cover all the legal topics that need to be addressed. For example, if a will doesn't cover all of the property owned by an individual, what will happen to this extra property? It may end up being distributed according to Tennessee intestacy laws, but maybe there's an alternative interpretation and a better distribution that the rightful heirs can reveal in court.

The testator lost contact with friends and family

Imagine what would happen if the testator fell out of contact with his or her friends and family because the sole beneficiary of the estate poisoned the testator against them. There may have been one person who was especially close to the testator who spoke poorly of other family members and encouraged the testator to leave the entire state to him or her. This could be the grounds for a successful will contest.

The testator didn't have capacity

An incapacitated testator who didn't fully understand the will he or she was signing could also be grounds for a will contest. These are difficult to prove but sometimes it's clear that the testator was suffering from mental incapacity.

If you suspect that your loved one's true wishes are not being adhered to, you may have a viable cause of action to pursue in contesting the will. Make sure you fully review the various legal strategies at your disposal and pursue your will contest respectfully and strategically.

Source: Mary C. Lagrone, "Wills Conests," accessed April 27, 2018

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