If you would like to learn more about how to contest a will and what makes a will invalid, continue reading and reach out to our experienced Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys to learn more about your options. At Friedman Schuman, our legal team is dedicated to protecting you and your future.
What makes a will valid in Pennsylvania?
A will has an important role in an estate plan. Because of this, there are certain guidelines that must be followed in order for a will to be considered valid. The guidelines include the following:
- The testator must be at least 18 years old and of “sound mind and memory”
- The testator must either sign the will themselves or another person must sign the testator’s name at their direction and in their presence
- At least two people must witness the signature and sign their names on the will within 30 days of each other
- At some point during the will’s execution and attestation, the testator must tell each witness that the document is their will
Why should I contest a will?
A will is required to go through probate court after it is created and the testator died. The purpose of the probate process is to determine whether the will is a valid document. In the event that a court believes that the will is invalid and does not follow the guidelines, it may be contested by a beneficiary. Probate law insinuates that a will can only be contested by individuals who are mentioned in the will of a previous will that was written.
There are a number of reasons a will may be contested. The most common reasons include the following:
- If fraud or forgery took place
- 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
What if the will is invalid?
If a will is deemed invalid, the court will throw it out. If there is no other will, the deceased’s assets will be distributed by the state of Pennsylvania.
It is in your best interest to reach out to our experienced firm if you are looking to contest a will. Our legal team understands that after the passing of a loved one, litigation is likely the last thing you would like to deal with. At Freidman Schuman, our attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that you and your loved ones are protected.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED PENNSYLVANIA FIRM
Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.