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The death of a loved one in is an emotionally difficult time for just about anyone in Kansas City. Sometimes this grief is eased if their loved one left a will, which states without question how their loved one wants their property distributed. However, what happens if you disagree with the contents of the will? It may be possible to have part of a will voided or the entire will voided, but only under some circumstances.

First of all, a person must have the mental capacity to create a will. For example, if the individual is unable to understand the worth of their property, who he or she is leaving his or her property to or what the consequences of making a will are, these may be ways to show lack of mental capacity. If a person had dementia, was senile, was mentally ill or was intoxicated, it can be argued that the person did not have the necessary mental capacity to make a will.

A second way to contest a will is by claiming that the will is outdated, and in fact there is a newer will that takes precedent over the former will. Similarly, if some sort of legal formality was neglected in the creation of the will, this may also be a reason to contest a will.

A third way to contest a will is to claim that the individual was unduly influenced when creating the will. For example, if another person manipulates the creator of the will to leave the majority of his or her assets to that person, when the person creating the will was in a vulnerable position or otherwise was without free will, this may be a reason to challenge a will.

All of this being said, in general it is very difficult to succeed in a will contest. Courts generally view the will as the manifestation of a person’s wishes, given that the individual who created the will is no longer around. However, it is not impossible to challenge a will, if you have the right grounds on which to do so. If this is the case, it may be very beneficial to have the help of an estate planning attorney who can present your case to the court, as this post is not a substitute for legal advice.

Source: FindLaw, “Reasons to Challenge a Will,” accessed May 23, 2016