If there are discrepancies in a will, it may enter the estate litigation process. During this time, an interested party, such as a beneficiary or heir, who has a property right or claim against the estate being administered may contest the validity of the will. To learn more about your eligibility and the valid grounds for contesting a will, follow along to learn how a proficient Montgomery county will drafting attorney at JD Katz, PC can be of assistance.
Am I eligible to contest a will in the state of Maryland?
Put simply, if you were named in the will as a beneficiary, you have a legal standing to challenge a will and sue for inheritance.
Also in the state of Maryland, you are eligible to contest a will if you are not a beneficiary but rather an heir who would have inherited under the will if it was valid. That is, an heir can challenge a will if they were either omitted or left with a disproportionate share in the inheritance or they would have received a share of the estate through the laws of intestate.
What are valid grounds to contest a will in the state of Maryland?
The following are circumstances in which the state of Maryland would deem a will to be invalid and thus appropriate to contest:
- The person was 18 years of age or younger when they wrote the will.
- The person was incapacitated when they wrote the will.
- The person was influenced by coercion, threats, bribery, or otherwise fraud when they wrote the will.
- There were insufficient or inappropriate witnesses when the person wrote the will.
- There were unclear provisions of the will.
- There is an existence of a later valid will.
What is the no-contest clause in a will in the state of Maryland?
Although you may be eligible to and have valid reasons to challenge a will, it may not be worth it in the long run. Specifically, the risk is higher if the will in question includes a no-contest clause. Notably, the state of Maryland recognizes and enforces the no-contest clause, which means that if a beneficiary or an heir challenges a will and ultimately loses their lawsuit, they will be disinherited and unable to claim what they were initially granted. However, if you are not a beneficiary of the will and you sue for an inheritance, the no-contest clause will not affect your case because you would not have inherited anyway.
To better determine the pros and cons of contesting a will, contact a talented Montgomery County estate planning attorney today.
Contact our experienced Maryland firm
Our firm has experience with matters of estates & elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. Contact JD Katz, PC today for assistance.