The basic purpose of any will is to ensure the decedent’s wishes are carried out upon his or her death. This is of extreme importance to both your loved one and your family. Many people devote a large portion of their time to writing a will, so you should know what it means when a will is deemed invalid. If you are considering contesting a will, here are some of the questions you may have:
What are some of the main components of a will?
As stated above, the primary goal is to ensure your loved one’s wishes are carried out accordingly to his or her will. This includes financial, as well as personal matters. A decedent may appoint several different people in his or her will to take charge of certain responsibilities. For example, when someone is appointed as the executor of an estate, they are responsible for handling your loved one’s estate after his or her death. Additionally, the decedent may appoint a loved one as a trustee or legal guardian. Both of these may come into play if the decedent was the last living parent of a child under the age of 18. A trustee will help manage your finances until the decedent’s child is old enough to do so on his or her own. A guardian, on the other hand, is someone who the decedent selects to care for his or her child. These are all extremely sensitive issues, so you must hire an experienced attorney to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Why would somebody contest a will?
There are several qualifications for a valid will in Maryland. The state requires that the will is written, signed by two witnesses in front of the testator, and signed by the testator. The testator must be 18 years of age or older, as well as legally competent at the time they signed the document. However, if a will goes through probate and it is believed it was created without following the above guidelines, it may be contested. Only those mentioned in the current or previous will may contest a will. Here are some situations in which a will may be contested:
- If it was created under the influence of another party
- If the will was not executed properly
- If fraud or forgery took place
- If the deceased was not mentally competent when writing the will
Contact our Maryland firm
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.