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How a will is contested

Nevada residents may wonder what is involved in the process of contesting a will. A will can be contested by any beneficiary or by a child, spouse or next of kin. If there was a previous will, beneficiaries of that may also contest the current will. There is usually a time period within which the contest has to be mounted once the will has been admitted to probate, and this varies among the states.

A will can be contested on the grounds of either lack of capacity or undue influence. The former means that the testator was not mentally competent at the time the will was made while the latter means that the testator was improperly influenced by someone else.

Financial records, witness testimony and medical records may all be presented in a case that is examining a will's validity. If the will is found to be invalid, then the state could decide that the decedent's assets will be distributed pursuant to its intestacy laws, or an earlier will might be used.

There are several ways to increase the chances that an estate plan is less vulnerable to challenges. It may be best to do will planning with the assistance of an attorney to ensure that the legalities are in place. Communicating with loved ones about the plan may also help avoid misunderstandings. A person who deliberately wants to disinherit a family member may want to discuss the best approach for doing this with an attorney who has estate planning and probate experience to ensure that this does not lead to a subsequent challenge.

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