When a loved one dies, you are likely going to go through a variety of emotions. When it is time to deal with the person’s will, you might end up going through a host of emotions again. In some cases, the reading of the will occurs as expected. In other cases, the reading of the will contains surprises. When those surprises cause problems for someone, that person might consider challenging the will. In order to so, the person must establish a legal standing to challenge the will.
Generally, anyone who is listed in the will is eligible to challenge the will. It doesn’t matter if the person is a family member or not. That means that the decedent’s friend or caregiver can challenge the will if he or she is listed in it
People who would inherit items if the will was ruled invalid or if the decedent died without a will can also challenge the will. This usually includes close family members. There are some cases in which the person who needs to challenge the will is a minor. In such a case, the challenge might not occur until the person turns 18 years old.
There is one exception to the rules about who can challenge the will. If there is a no-contest clause in the will, the person might be considered disinherited. There is some question about the enforceability of this.
Challenging a will is a serious step that can often affect everyone in the family. Understanding your rights and learning how a will challenge might affect you can help you decide what to do.
Source: FindLaw, “Who Can Challenge a Will?,” accessed May. 28, 2015