Klenk Law

When Can a Will Be Challenged?

Posted on Mon Oct 8, 2018, on Uncategorized

Will Challenges Law Firm Philadelphia, PA

Challenging a will is one of the most difficult legal issues to pursue, mainly because the courts view wills as the voice of the deceased. Because they are no longer alive to be able to clarify the document, the court will adhere pretty strictly to the will.

Those parties with anything to gain from the will may be in a position to challenge the document. Spouse are usually the most successful at challenging the will Their grounds are that the person did not have the mental capacity to write the will in a particular way or that the person was unlawfully persuaded or influenced to create the will a certain way.

If you are successful in challenging a will, it can be entirely voided or just portions of the will thrown out. In some cases, a previous provision from a will created at an earlier time can be reinstated. If the court rules the entire will be voided, the property is distributed as if there were never a will in the first place. Dying without a will is called dying intestate, and distribution is determined by family relationships.

Because challenging a will can be very complicated, it is important to enlist help from the experienced attorneys. Below are reasons that someone may have to challenge the validity of a will.

The Legal Capacity of the Creator or Testamentary

  • You must be 18 or older to be legally capable of creating a will. In some areas individuals who serve in the military or who are married may have the right to create a will.
  • If the will of an adult is contested, it may be because the creator may suffer from dementia, senility, insanity, affected from drug or alcohol use or unable in some other way to author a will. In order for a person to be deemed capable of creating a will, it must be shown that the person did not understand the following:
    • The value of extent of the property
    • How to identify the beneficiaries
    • The definition of a will and what it entails
    • How these conditions are related in order to determine the distribution of their property

A Will Challenged When Forgery, Fraud or Undue Influence is Suspected

If you are able to show that the will was created as a result of forgery, fraud or undue influence, you may be able to challenge its validity.  If someone uses or manipulates a person to leave all or most of the property to the manipulator, the author of the will may have not had the opportunity to freely write their intentions.

Newest Version of the Will

A will can be contested if it is found that a newer version of the will that the executor is attempting to carry out is found. Dating documents is critical in creating legal papers and the court will always attempt to meet the wishes of the testator.


Your attorney will be able to address the needs of your specific state when determining how many witnesses, if any, are needed to insure the legality of the will.

Contact a will challenges law firm Philadelphia, PA trusts from Klenk Law if you have questions concerning the legality of specific provisions of a will.

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