Many people often have very cherished assets at the end of a long life. These are things that should be passed down to loved ones so that they may still be taken care of after the owner’s life is over. This can be done through an estate plan. This plan allows an individual to prepare for what will happen to their assets after their death. Doing so can ensure these valuable items end up in the hands of their choosing.
Part of an estate plan can include a will. This is a document that details how the deceased wanted their estate to be distributed. The intent of this plan is to ensure the assets end up in the right hands and there are no worries. However, there are some cases in which an illegitimate will is created. This may be seen if the proper legal process was not followed in creating the document.
Creating a Will
In the state of Maryland, there are certain rules to be followed in order for a will to be considered valid. The state requires that the will is signed after two eyewitnesses in front of the testator after it is written. The document must also be signed by the testator themselves. In order to be a testator, the individual must be over the age of 18 and legally able to sign the will at the time it is documented.
Contesting a Will
When an individual dies and they have a will, the document must go through probate. Probate is a process that determines whether or not a will is valid. If it is believed the will was created without following the legal guidelines, it can be contested. Under probate law, a will can only be contested by those who are mentioned in the current or previous will that was written.
A will may be contested for the following reasons:
- If it was created under the influence of another party
- If the deceased was not mentally competent when writing the will
- If the will was not executed properly
- If fraud or forgery took place
If the court agrees that a will is invalid, the document can be thrown out and the contents are no longer followed. If there is no other will, the deceased’s assets can be distributed by the state of Maryland through a succession plan.
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is looking to contest a will, contact the Law Offices of JD Katz today.
The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.