Generally, after a loved one passes away, their estate will be distributed amongst their beneficiaries. Unfortunately, this is not always a quick and easy process. In some cases, an individual may believe there is an issue with the will and attempt to contest it. This can be a stressful process, so it is important to enlist the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. Read on to learn more about contesting a will in New Jersey.
What are Some Reasons One Might Contest a Will?
There are a few reasons one may attempt to contest a will. Someone may contest a will if he or she believes there is an issue with the validity of the will, they did not get a fair share, etc. A will can be contested by the executor of the will, any heirs, spouses, creditors, or anyone else with a property right or claim against the estate. Below are the reasons a will would be found invalid:
- If it was created under the influence of another party
- If the deceased was not mentally competent when writing the will
- If the will was not executed properly
- If fraud or forgery took place
What Makes a Will Valid?
A will is valid in the eyes of the law after some specific requirements are fulfilled. A will must be in writing and signed by the subject of the document. Additionally, in New Jersey, two witnesses are required. These witnesses should be present, aware that they are at a will signing, hear the signer state that he is aware he is at a will signing, and likely sign a document stating that these obligations have been fulfilled.
What Happens if a Will is Contested?
If the court agrees that the will is invalid, the document may be thrown out. If there is no other will, the deceased individual’s assets can be distributed by the state of New Jersey through a succession plan.
Contesting a will can be a difficult process, but if you believe that there is a problem with a will, it is important to contact an experienced estate planning attorney right away. We understand that the loss of a loved one is incredibly difficult and we will work to resolve your issues as quickly as possible to ensure that you and your loved ones have the opportunity to mourn properly.
Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy, family law, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 25 years. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.