Estate plans typically contain several key documents, including a will. The will outlines the final wishes of the testator in terms of how their assets should be distributed upon their death. A guardian for minor children can also be named in this document.
Nonetheless, a will can only serve its intended purpose if it is valid. It must adhere to the laws of the relevant state, and the terms included must reflect the wishes of the testator accurately.
In some cases, wills are contested. Why does this happen? Let’s look at two reasons
Probate laws in California are very specific. The testator must be at least 18 years old. The signing of the will must also be witnessed by two competent parties who will not receive anything in the will.
Sometimes, individuals are tempted to draft a will on their own. There are numerous will templates available online. The problem with drafting a will like this is that it’s easy to make an error. Any abnormalities in the drafting of the will could result in a contest.
Another condition of valid wills in California is that they must truly reflect the final wishes of the testator. The testator must be of sound mind when drafting the will and they must fully understand the terms.
No one should pressure the testator into creating certain terms or making changes. This is known as undue influence, and it is a common ground for will contests.
Drafting your will is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. That’s why it’s so important to have experienced estate planning guidance.