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Some situations that can lead to someone challenging a will

In the last month, we have written a number of blog posts about wills and how heirs and beneficiaries can be impacted when estate planning isn't done properly. To be clear: no matter your situation, you should be thinking about your estate plan and preparing a will. Dying without a will, which is called dying "intestate," could leave your estate very vulnerable and it could rob your heirs and beneficiaries of the assets they may deserve.

Legal action involving an estate can be emotionally painful and financially devastating. The last thing you want is for your loved ones and family members to be locked in a legal battle after you pass away -- but sometimes, such action is necessary.

For example, heirs and beneficiaries may be frozen out of an estate because of undue influence by another party or outside source. Usually this happens when the grantor is in a vulnerable physical state, leading to questions about the grantor's testamentary capacity. There can also be cases where fraud or forgery is involved with a will, or even that another will trumps the existence of the supposed "original" will.

In other words, there are many circumstances and situations that can cause heirs and beneficiaries to launch a legal challenge to a will. With so much at stake, you can understand why. If you are an heir or beneficiary and the legitimacy of the will you are named is being questioned, then you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Reasons to Challenge a Will," Accessed June 13, 2016

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