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3 reasons your will might be disputed

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2023 | Estate planning |

A will is one of the most significant legal documents you can ever draft. With a properly drafted will in place, you may be at peace knowing that the empire you have worked so hard to build will pass down to the people and causes you approve of. Without one, on the other hand, it would be up to the government to determine your estate’s heirs, and you might not like this.

But a will can also be the subject of a protracted legal battle, especially if an interested party is not satisfied with its provisions. But when exactly can this happen?

Here are three telltale signs that someone might dispute your will.

1. When it does not comply with formalities

For your will to be valid, it must comply with Georgia laws. In other words, you must be at least 14 old years at the time of signing your will. Also, your will must be witnessed by at least two non-interested individuals who must also sign the document. Most importantly, your will must be written since Georgia does not recognize holographic wills.

2. If you lack capacity

A will may only be legal if you understand its significance as well as the consequences of drafting one. This means that you must have the mental capacity to understand the scope of your estate as well as the beneficiaries you are leaving your estate for. If there are questions regarding your mental capacity at the time of signing the document, such as a debilitating illness like advanced dementia, then someone can dispute your will on the grounds that you lacked the mental capacity to draft one.

3. If there was undue influence

Alongside testamentary capacity, you must be able to make decisions regarding your will by yourself without coercion from a third party. If someone puts pressure on you to include provisions that favor them in your will, then your will may be disputed and invalidated. Likewise, if there is evidence that you were intoxicated at the time of signing your will, then the document may be disputed.

A properly drafted and signed will speaks for you when you are no longer around to articulate your wishes. Understanding Georgia wills laws can help you draft a will that will stand the test of probate.