As most real estate professionals know, it is typically very difficult to successfully challenge a will. This is generally because it is thought that the last wishes of the deceased should almost always be respected even if the living sometimes find some of these wishes to be arbitrary. However, simply because successful challenges are relatively rare, it does not mean that you or anyone else should be complacent when it comes to the probate process. The wrinkle of a challenge to a will can have a profound effect on attorneys, real estate professional and of course the survivors. Let’s look closely at a few grounds for which a will may be challenged. Then, we will look at how you can handle this and some of the other wrinkles that can arise during the probate process.
- Testamentary capacity: When adults are assumed to lack testamentary capacity, it usually means that the adult in question has senility, dementia and insanity or was under the influence of alcohol or other substance that affected his/her judgment. In order for a successful challenge to be mounted on these grounds the individual must show the person who filled out the will did not under the consequences of said will before signing it.
- Fraud, forgery, and undue influence: A will can be challenged if it has been proven that it was procured by fraud, forgery or undue influence. If this is proven to be the case then this is, of course, a deal breaker for you as areal estate professional.
- The will wasn’t signed in accordance with applicable state laws: Each state has its own laws about how a will and testament must be signed. Although it sounds like clerical issue, it is an example of how a will can be successfully contested. It also happens to be the most common reason a will is successfully contested.
How You can Prepare
So how do you prepare for the unexpected, the unlikely and the undesired? You can do so by learning as much about the probate process as possible via our site. We have courses that will help you plan on such unexpected contingencies. We also have real estate leads for sale that will help you move your business forward. Next, you can prepare by-establishing a network of strategic partners such as a probate attorney, bankers, etc. This network can increase your knowledge of when something unplanned may happen.