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When can a will be declared invalid

When can a will be declared invalid

A will is your last act, which you must ensure that it is valid so that your wishes can be consummated. Coming up with a will enables you to decide the fate of your assets and possessions upon your demise.

The will is your final word to your loved ones, what you desire to be upheld and carried out as per your wishes.

Before you make your will, you must ensure that:

  • You know all the properties, money, and possessions that you own

  • Comprehend the consequences of your will upon your demise, such as including and excluding some people

  • Know all the legal consequences upon signing your will

  • Follow the right process for signing your will and having your witnesses' signature on it.

  • Approve the content of your will

Making a will sounds and looks like a good deed, but sometimes it may not be as protective as you would like it to be, especially when it becomes disputable after your demise.

Let us discuss situations that can lender a will disputable

Making a Holographic Will

Some people tend to write a handwritten will that is testator-signed. The document stands as an alternative to a lawyer's will. Some states do not permit holographic wills, and it is upon you to do proper research to find out if it is permitted in your state. However, states that permit holographic will require that the handwriting and signature be entirely the testators. Otherwise, your will be declared invalid and disputable.

Improper Witnesses

You might be required to have three or more witnesses who are over the age of eighteen in your state. In the case where you do not have witnesses to see you signing your will or declaring that you are of sound mind, your will might be declared invalid.

If you include your beneficiaries as witnesses and fail to notarize your will, then it will be declared invalid by some states. It is crucial to check with your state laws what type of witnesses they require before executing your will.

Availability of Previous Wills

People tend to change their will from time to time for various reasons, such as adding missing persons or adding some more important information. However, the law recommends that you destroy any other will, including copies you have written before you make a new one. Otherwise, if other differences will arise upon your demise, then your recent will might be declared invalid.

Inadequate Testamentary Capacity

The testator's mental competence is vital when it comes to will challenges. There are various conditions required by various states that you must meet or else rest assured your will shall be declared invalid. The conditions include:

  • Understanding the properties that you own

  • Identifying who are your relatives

  • Your relationship with your beneficiaries

  • What your will states and means

Your will might be invalidated if, in any case, someone suggests that you did not have testamentary capacity and in cases where there was no attorney involved or a physician's report as evidence.

Ignoring Your States Law Provision

States have law provisions that should be followed to the core when making a will. If you write a will without following your state's requirements and language, it will be declared invalid. In this case, it is crucial to research what your state law requires. Things to consider include:

  • Write a statement that it is your final testament

  • Write a clear record of who gets what

  • Indicate the name of the executor you wish to probate the will and share out your property

If you fail to consider the above, your will is to declared invalid by your state's law.

Fraud or Undue Control

If a court of law discovers that fraud or excessive control was used to create the will, it might be deemed invalid. Other considerations for fraud or undue control in a will include:

  • A family member is tricking the testator into signing a will by faking that it is a mere legal document that needs their signature

  • An outsider caregiver was coercing the testator to leave them an inheritance

  • A will signed by a person under duress

In case you plan to make inheritance requests that your family might not accept, you can engage an attorney to safeguard your will to avoid it from being declared invalid. You can also document your conversations as evidence so that your wishes can be honored upon your demise.

Outdated Will

Sometimes the testator's situation may change, including undergone a separation, divorce, marriage, change in financial situation, death of a spouse or beneficiary, and have borne children or grandchildren. If a new will is not written to include the mentioned changes, the will might be deemed invalid.

Because a will is your last act, you need to be sure that it will not be invalidated. You need to execute your will carefully by following all your state requirements to safeguard your final wishes.



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