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When may a will be considered invalid?

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2019 | Estate Planning

It is important that individuals who wish to create and execute wills in Virginia speak with attorneys who work in the estate planning field. That is because the Commonwealth imposes certain requirements on wills in order for them to be considered valid. When a will is deficient or does not meet the standards set by state law, it may not be used as a controlling document in the disposition of the decedent’s estate.

A seemingly proper will may meet the technical requirements set forth for it but may later fail if it is proven that the creator of it was influenced by others during the drafting process. For example, a will may be challenged if it is claimed that an individual forced or coerced the decedent into giving a beneficiary more than the decedent intended to give them or that duress influenced the outcome of the will.

Wills may also be challenged as invalid if it can be proven that the decedents were not competent at the time they executed their wills. Individuals who cannot understand what they are creating or signing when their wills are drafted may not be considered competent and may not be found to have knowingly expressed their testamentary intentions through their wills.

An invalid will can cause confusion and problems when a decedent’s estate goes through probate. In order to avoid these and other issues, individuals who wish to draft wills can work with attorneys who practice estate planning law. These legal professionals can help their clients effectively and legally work their estate distribution plans into their wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents.