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On what grounds can you challenge a will in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | Probate Litigation |

You can challenge the validity of a loved one’s will in probate court if you believe it does not reflect their true wishes and intentions. Should you succeed in challenging the will, the court may declare it invalid and take appropriate action as it deems fit.

It’s worth noting that you cannot challenge the validity of a will simply because you are unhappy with its terms. Understanding the legal reasons for contesting a will in New Jersey is essential for anyone in such a situation. The following are some common actionable grounds that may apply to your case.

Undue influence

You can contest the validity of a will on the basis that your loved one was pressured or manipulated into making decisions against their free will. This undue influence could be from family members, caregivers or others with a vested interest in the outcome of the will. The court may invalidate the will if there is evidence of coercing or undue persuasion on your loved one when creating the will.

Lack of testamentary capacity

You may also challenge a will if there are doubts about your loved one’s mental capacity during will creation due to factors like old age or health conditions. The court may revoke the will if you can prove your loved one lacked the mental capacity to understand the implications of their actions.

Fraud or forgery

If you have evidence to suggest that the will was falsified or that the signature on the document was forged, you can contest its validity. Fraudulent activities like fabricating the owner’s signature or altering the terms of the will could lead to its invalidation.

Successfully challenging a will is a complex process that requires careful consideration and evidence. In addition, there is a deadline beyond which you cannot contest a will in New Jersey. Reaching out for qualified legal guidance can help you understand how everything works and present a strong case, increasing your chances of a positive outcome in the event that you decide to take action.