The option to challenge a will is an important process with which interested parties should be familiar. In addition to knowing when a will can be challenged, interested parties should know if they can challenge a will.
Who can challenge a will?
If you are seeking to challenge a will, you should know who has the legal standing to contest a will. There are two primary categories of individuals who can challenge a will. The first category is individuals named in a will or in a prior version of a will. The second category of individuals who may be able to challenge a will is heirs who would inherit if the will that is being challenged would be determined invalid.
Individuals and others named in a will are referred to as beneficiaries and may have the standing to challenge a will. Beneficiaries can include surviving spouses, children, grandchildren, other relatives and pets. They can also include friends, churches, universities and charities that were named in the deceased person’s will.
Heirs are individuals who would inherit even without a will according to state intestacy laws. Heirs can include spouses, children, parents, grandparents and siblings. Both heirs and beneficiaries may have the right to challenge a will. There are several reasons a beneficiary or loved one might seek to challenge a will. Probate and estate litigation can be complex but there is often a lot on the line for family and loved ones, which is why it is helpful to understand how legal resources might be able to help in the wake of a loved one’s passing.