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When can your will be challenged in court?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Death is a taboo topic for most people. Unfortunately, it is a rite of passage for everyone. A will is an estate planning tool that allows you to determine how your estate will be distributed to your beneficiaries upon your demise. If you die without one (intestate), this enormous responsibility shall be undertaken by the government – and you may not like the outcome.

However, for a will be to be valid, it must meet certain conditionality. Here are some of the reasons why your will may be invalidated in Massachusetts.

When your will is faulty or incomplete

The state of Massachusetts has specific laws that dictate how your will must be signed for it to be deemed valid. If your will does not follow these rules – i.e missing testator or witness signatures, signed without the right number of witnesses or missing crucial information – then it can be invalidated by the court.

When there is a lack of testamentary capacity

Having the testamentary capacity means that you understand what a will is and that you can clearly identify your assets and your family relationships. It also means that you understand the legal implications of signing a will. If the court establishes that you were suffering from dementia, were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or did not understand the document you were appending your signature on at the time of preparing your will, then it may invalidate your will.

When you sign the will under undue influence

As you age and become mentally and physically frail, someone may take advantage of your condition and exert undue influence over your decisions. One of these undue influences may have something to do with whom you bequeath your estate. If the court establishes that you were tricked, coerced, manipulated or threatened into signing your will, then the entire document may be rendered invalid.

A will gives you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be honored when you pass on. Find out how a valid will can speak for you when you are no longer around to make important decisions.

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