Let’s imagine you write up a last will and testament noting that you want quick, simple direct cremation. But your child who is the next of kin and executor of your will hates the idea. Could they contest that part of the will after your death? Or any other part of the will?
Let’s find out.
Valid Reasons for Contesting a Will
While wills are considered to be legally binding documents that can’t be challenged, that’s not entirely true. Beneficiaries and heirs may dispute what is in a will, which is called contentious probate. However, if you’ve created a will you don’t have to be too concerned about someone contesting it if the will is executed properly.
The only way any part of a will can be contested is if the person presents a valid reason. Valid reasons for contesting a will typically fall into one of three categories:
Fraudulent documents aren’t enforceable for good reason – they aren’t legal. Someone may claim that a will is fraudulent if:
- The will was forged.
- The will wasn’t properly executed.
- The deceased was tricked into signing the will.
Not of Sound Mind and Judgement
A will is a serious legal document with huge implications for the survivors of the deceased. It may be determined that the deceased didn’t have the judgment to make important decisions, like those for a will, if they were:
- Not of sound mind and judgment.
- Under the influence of drugs.
- Under the influence of alcohol.
Not The Deceased’s True Wishes
The point of a will is to document a person’s wishes for what should happen after their death, but sometimes there are claims that isn’t the case. The will could be revoked if it’s proven that:
- The deceased was under another person’s influence when they created the will.
- The will doesn’t contain the true wishes of the deceased.
It’s possible that someone may claim that a will violates an earlier agreement that the deceased made. For example, a business partner may claim that they had an agreement with the deceased to receive full ownership of the company upon their death. If the deceased’s will gave their portion of the business to a family member instead, the business partner would need to prove that there was a formal agreement that contradicts the will. A probate judge would need to examine the evidence to determine if the claim is valid and if that was the deceased’s true wishes at the time of their death.
Whether or not you have a will, Direct Cremate can help you pre-arrange cremation services so that it’s crystal clear what type of disposition you want. You’ll ensure you get the funeral services you want, there’s no disputes among family members and no one contests what your true wishes are.