Common reasons for contesting a will

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2022 | Wills

Not being happy with the terms of a will is not a good enough reason to contest a will; wanting to receive a bigger inheritance than another person or wanting to speed up the estate distribution are not grounds for contesting. However, creating a will in Oregon without the testator’s consent is a major reason for a legal dispute.

Not signed

A will is not valid if it’s not signed. There are specific rules for how the document must be signed. In Oregon, the testator must sign the will, or another person who is acting on the testator’s behalf must sign. There must be two witnesses to watch the will being signed.

Not mentally aware

A will is not valid if the testator lacks testamentary capacity. This means that he or she does not understand the meaning of the will and the legal consequences of creating it. In some states, a person who is suffering from a mental condition cannot sign a valid will. In Oregon, the testator who creates the will must be “of sound mind,” which is defined by the state’s case law.

Fraudulently created

A fraudulent will either has a signature that was forged by someone else or the testator’s signature was made by force or deception. A will that is created and signed fraudulently is a valid reason for will contests.

When it’s appropriate to challenge a will

Not many people are able to change the terms and conditions of a will after it’s made. There are only a few special circumstances when a will can be invalidated. In Oregon, the testator must be of sound mind, sign the will and have at least two witnesses present, so if those criteria were not met, a challenge might proceed.