When you create a will, you want to ensure that it will be upheld and enforced in the aftermath of your passing. However, there are a number of factors that can potentially invalidate it. If you have a will or if your loved one has a will, it would be helpful to understand what pitfalls to avoid that may render it unenforceable.
What Can Invalidate a Will?
Not every will is valid. Under certain circumstances, the court may invalidate it.
Here are the most common reasons why yours may be invalidated:
- Not having the right witnesses: A valid will requires a minimum of two witnesses who are over the age of 18. These individuals must see you sign your will and be able to recognize that you are of sound mind. You should not have any beneficiaries or the executor of your will act as a witness. If you do not have the proper witnesses, your will may be invalid.
- You did not destroy a previous will: If you had another will prior to the current one, it is essential to destroy all copies of them. If your new one cannot be found, a prior will might be used in its place.
- You did not follow the provisions of your state: When creating a will, it is important to follow state provisions. Your will should include the name of an executor, a statement that it is your last will and testament, and a clear list of beneficiaries and what they will receive.
- Fraud or undue influence: If the court finds that the creation of your will involved undue influence or fraud, it will be considered invalid. Examples include a non-family caregiver forcing the testator to name them as a beneficiary or a family member tricking the testator into signing the will by lying about what type of document it is.
Your will is your last act and final legacy, so you will want to ensure no one can contest it after you are gone. Do not hesitate to seek skilled legal counsel to check if your affairs are in order.
Speak to an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Today!
If you are creating a will or wish to make updates to your will, the experienced estate planning team at Drexler Law can provide the exceptional guidance you need.
Reach out to our law office today at (719) 259-0050 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to get started.