When a person reaches the end of their life, they usually have many cherished assets. These are things that should be passed on to loved ones to continue to be taken care of when their life is over. This can be done with the creation of an extensive estate plan that prepares for what will happen to these assets in the event of an individual’s death. This allows them to protect their assets by ensuring they end up in the right hands.
Part of an estate plan can include a written will. A will documents how an individual wants their estate to be handled after their death. This plan makes sure there are no worries about where their assets belong and do not end up in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, there are cases in which an illegitimate will is created. This may happen the correct legal process was not followed when creating the document.
Creating a Will
In the state of New Jersey, a will must be written and signed by the person writing the document. During this process, the signing must have two witnesses present that will attest to hearing the testator say they understand they are signing their will. In addition to this, the witnesses may also be obligated to sign the will.
Contesting a Will
When a will is created, the document is required to go through probate court once the testator dies. Probate works to determine if a will is a valid document. If an individual believes the will was created without following the legal guidelines, it can be contested. It is important to know that under probate law, a will can only be contested by those who are mentioned in the current will or a previous will that was written.
A will may be contested for the following reasons:
- 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
If the court agrees that the will is invalid, the document can 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.
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is looking to contest a will, contact Velasco Law Office today.
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 20 years. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.