When a person reaches the end of their life, they sometimes have several cherished assets. These valuable possessions should be passed down to loved ones to make sure they will still be taken care of. With an extensive estate plan, an individual is able to plan for what happens to their assets when their life is over. This allows them to protect these assets and ensure they end up in the hands of their choosing.
Part of an estate plan can include the creation of a will. A will is a document that acknowledges an individual’s wishes of how their estate should be taken care of after their death. This ensures that their assets do not fall into the wrong hands. However, there are circumstances in which an illegitimate will is created. This may happen the correct legal process was not followed when creating the document.
Executing a Will
In the state of Alabama, there are guidelines in place to ensure a will is created legally. Following these guidelines is what makes the document valid. The individual who writes the will is required to be of sound mind and body in order to write the document. Two witnesses that can attest to the individual’s mental capacities must also be present for the signing. The witnesses must confirm they saw the will be signed and may be required to sign it themselves.
Contesting a Will
When a deceased individual made a will, the document must go through probate court. The process of probate determines whether or not a will is valid. If it is believed that the creation of the will did not follow the proper guidelines, it can be contested. It is important to know that, under probate law, a will can only be contested by those who are mention in the will or a previous will that was written. A will may be contested for the following reasons:
- If it was created under the influence of another party
- If the deceased was not mentally competent when writing the will
- If the will was not executed properly
- If fraud or forgery took place
If the court agrees that the will is invalid, the document can be thrown out. If an earlier will exists, it is possible for that document to be put into place instead. If there is no other will, the deceased’s assets will be distributed by the state of Alabama through a succession plan.
Contact our Firm
Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firmtoday to schedule a consultation.