Generally, challenging a will is quite difficult. However, it happens. And when someone successfully challenges your will, the outcome can derail your legacy and wishes.
One of the primary reasons for creating a will is to put in place structures to ensure that your wishes are acknowledged and honored when you are no longer around to speak for yourself.
Here are common scenarios when someone can successfully dispute your will.
When it is improperly executed
Under Colorado wills laws, you must meet the following criteria when creating a will:
- You must be at least 18 years old at the time of signing the will document
- The will must be written
- You must sign the will in the presence of two witnesses who must also append their signatures to the document
Your will shall be deemed invalid if any of these legal requirements are not met at the time of its creation.
When there is undue influence
Undue influence happens when someone tricks, pressures or coerces you into writing a will or revising an existing one. For your will to be challenged on any of these grounds, there has to be proof of undue influence. An example of an act that may raise the suspicion of undue influence would be a situation where your elderly parent at a nursing home suddenly revises their will to allocate a significant portion of their assets to the caregiver.
When the law has changed, but your will hasn’t
State and federal estate laws change from time to time. As these laws change, it is important that you update your will and other estate planning tools to ensure conformity with the law. If you do not, someone might challenge the validity of your will.
A will is one of the most important estate planning tools you can create. Find out how you can create a will that will stand the test of time.