Planning for your eventual death can be one of the most difficult things to do. However, this is extremely necessary if you want to safeguard your legacy, give your family peace of mind, and have your wishes honored when you pass on. And writing your will is one of the things you can do to ensure this.
However, when creating your will, it is important that you steer clear of certain mistakes that can cause trouble down the road. A poorly created will, or one that is outdated, can be contested. Not only will this jeopardize your final wishes, but it can also trigger conflicts among your heirs and deplete your estate.
Here are two common reasons why wills are contested in Missouri.
Lack of mental capacity
One of the grounds upon which your will may be contested is when an interested party believes you did not have the mental capacity or were not of sound mind at the time of creating the will. This is common if the will is created when the testator is close to passing or is seriously ill. It is prudent that you create your will when you are fit and in sound mind to reduce the possibility of someone contesting your will on grounds of old age, illness or lack of mental capacity.
Elements of fraud
A will can also be contested if it is believed to be fraudulent or if it was created under undue influence. Common indicators a will may be fraudulent include:
- Missing or questionable signatures
- Missing or swapped pages
- Corrections such as edited, added or crossed out sections that are not accompanied with authorized signatures
If there is evidence that someone manipulated the testator into allocating a larger portion of the inheritance to them, then the will may be contested.
Creating a will is a great way of ensuring that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes when you pass on. However, if the will is not valid, there is a good chance it could be contested.