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Contesting a Will in Michigan

Aug 15 | 2023  by

Most people who pass away leave behind property for their loved ones. Although there are several options available to an individual when planning the disposition of their estate, many choose to write a Last Will and Testament (“Will”).

In most instances, the admission of the deceased individual’s Will, the administration of the probate estate, and the distribution of the decedent’s assets proceed without any issues. However, sometimes, people are surprised to discover that a loved one or family member did not provide for them in their Will as they had expected.

So, what happens if a family member wants to contest a Will? Legal action must be taken. If you wish to contest a Will, you must contest the validity of the Will. Some of the most common grounds for contesting the validity of the Will are as follows:

  • The existence of a later executed Will, Codicil, or Revocation
    • If a more recent version of the Will exists or if the Testator has made changes through a Codicil or Revocation, it may affect the validity of the original Will.
  • The Will was improperly signed or witnessed
    • A Will needs to adhere to certain legal formalities, including proper signing and witnessing. If these requirements are not fulfilled, it could invalidate the Will.
  • The Testator was not mentally sound at the time the Will was signed
    • It’s essential that the person creating the Will, known as the Testator, is mentally sound and capable of making decisions when signing the Will. If there’s evidence of mental incapacity at the time of signing, it can be grounds for contesting the Will.
  • The Testator was pressured or forced into signing the Will
    • If the Testator was forced or pressured into signing the Will against their wishes, it can be challenged. This includes situations where the Testator was tricked or threatened with physical or financial harm.
  • The Testator’s signature was forged
    • If it can be proven that the Testator’s signature on the Will is forged, the Will can be invalidated.

Contesting a Will is a complex and difficult process. Therefore, the assistance of an experienced attorney is essential to contest a Will in probate court. For a consultation with a probate litigation matter, please call Denise Medina at (248) 912-3220. For more information on probate-related litigation matters, please visit our website at www.fb-firm.com.