Menu ${}${SEMFirmNameAlt}${}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
Practice Areas
Let's Get Started!

When can a will be contested?

Many Massachusetts residents would likely consider a will to be the most important estate planning document. In many cases, a last will and testament serves as the cornerstone of a comprehensive estate plan and provides directives for the distribution of an individual's property, assets and personal belongings.

Given the significance of a will, it's important that individuals who draft or amend a will seek help from an attorney who handles estate planning matters. At times, a decedent's family members may have questions or concerns about the contents of a will. In cases where family members or other interested parties question the validity of a will or believe that a loved one was coerced or forced to make amendments to an existing will or draft a new will, legal steps may be taken to contest a will.

A will contest may seek to challenge and invalidate all or only specific portions of a will. When contesting a will, a plaintiff must have specific legal grounds for doing so. This legal requirement prevents a disgruntled spouse or family member from taking action to contest a will merely for his or her own benefit.

Legal grounds for contesting a will include claims of fraud, forgery, undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity. For example, if a loved one was diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease prior to making changes to or drafting a will, interested parties who have a valid claim may seek to contest a will based on the claim that an individual lacked testamentary capacity. Additionally, a will may be contested if it's believed that an individual was unduly influenced or manipulated by another party with regard to a will's provisions.

Will contests are often complex and highly emotional cases. For these reasons, it's imperative to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney who has successfully handled similar probate litigation matters.

Source:, "Reasons to Challenge a Will," June 19, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts

Waltham Office
375 Totten Pond Road
Suite 200
Waltham, MA 02451

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Waltham Law Office Map

Braintree Office
25 Braintree Hill Office Park
Suite 406
Braintree, MA 02184

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Phone: 617-523-1555
Braintree Law Office Map

Cranston Office
200 Midway Road
Suite 159
Cranston, RI 02920

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Cranston Law Office Map

Hyannis Office
1330 Phinney’s Lane
Hyannis, MA 02601

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Hyannis Law Office Map

Norwood Office
520 Providence Highway
Suite 10
Norwood, MA 02062

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Norwood Law Office Map

Westborough Office
276 Turnpike Road
Suite 228
Westborough, MA 01581

Westborough Law Office Map

Woburn Office
444 Washington Street
Suite 203
Woburn, MA 01801

Woburn Law Office Map