A will is one of the most crucial legal documents you can ever create and sign. Done right, a will can take the guesswork out of the equation and articulate your wishes when you are no longer around to speak for yourself. Without one, on the other hand, the government would step in and determine how your hard-earned assets are distributed. And this might not sit well with you.
However, it is not uncommon for a will to be the subject of unending court battles. While some grounds for disputing a will might be frivolous, there are instances when a will can fall short of the legal threshold required by the probate court.
Here are two instances when your will may be contested during probate.
There are questions about your mental capacity
Like any legal document, you must be of sound mind to create and sign a will in Iowa. The law presumes that at 18, an individual can make informed decisions, including the decision to create a will. If, however, your ability to make sound decisions is impaired by an illness like dementia at the time of signing the will, then someone might argue that you lacked the testamentary capacity to sign it.
There is evidence of fraud or undue influence
A will that is a product of fraud or undue influence cannot be enforced. Undue influence happens when someone manipulates or threatens you into signing a will that doesn’t reflect your true wishes. Fraud, on the other hand, happens when it is established that a will has been signed by someone else other than you.
Protecting your legacy
Seeking legal guidance can give you peace of mind by helping make certain that your will is valid. That way, your wishes will be honored.