If a loved-one has passed away and you need to contest the will, we're here to help.
You can trust our experienced probate law team for will contests throughout Arizona.
Proper estate planning is a vital tool that ensures an individual’s last wishes are honored, and their assets are protected. In the estate planning process, an individual will craft a will that sets forth the plan for dispersing their assets to their beneficiaries.
For instance, a will often outlines who receives the family home, the prized car in the garage, or even the family dog. Seeing as these assets are often valuable and coveted, it is possible that
beneficiaries may fight over who gets what and for the will to be improperly changed.
If this occurs, the beneficiaries have the right to contest the will’s validity in probate court.
What is Will Contesting?
Title 14 of Arizona law sets forth specific guidelines that all wills must follow to be deemed valid. For instance, A.R.S. 14-2502 requires a will to be in writing to be valid, and A.R.S. 14-2501 requires the testator to be at least 18 years old for the will to be valid.
If the will does not follow all of the guidelines, it may be contested and thrown out. In addition to simple clerical errors, it is also common for more complex issues to arise regarding the validity of a will being used to disperse assets.
The following are several of the most common reasons a beneficiary may contest a will in probate court:
Creating a will is important, but updating a will is even more important as further assets are purchased or sold. When a will is updated, the previous version is no longer valid and cannot be used. Due to this, it is important to ensure that the most current version of a will is being used.
Improper Execution of the Will’s Instructions
The purpose of a will is to give specific instructions for transferring assets to beneficiaries. When the executor releases the assets to the beneficiaries, they must follow the specific written instructions.
For example, if a will states that a beneficiary must receive their inheritance on their 18th birthday, the executor must release the assets to the beneficiary on their 18th birthday. Suppose the executor acts improperly and decides to hold off until the beneficiary is older. In that case, the beneficiary has the right to contest the will and force the executor to transfer the assets to them.
Incapacity of the Person Who Made the Will
During the estate planning process, the grantor of a will must be of sound mind and judgment. If the grantor was in declining health, incapacitated, or recently in a severe accident, they are not legally of sound mind to make decisions.
If the grantor of your will was not of sound mind during the creation and signing of their will, it is invalid.
Any time assets, regardless of their value, are set to be divided amongst beneficiaries, fraud can occur. Individuals may wish to take an asset for themselves, and to do this, they may falsify a document, create a fake identity or even coerce the grantor of a will to change their will.
Get Help With Will Contesting in Arizona
While you are not required to hire an attorney to go through probate, it can be extremely valuable. Contesting a will is arduous, and doing it on your own will make the process even harder. If you are looking to contest a will, contact JacksonWhite Law.
Call Probate Attorney Ryan Hodges at (480) 467-4365 to discuss your case today.