Required Element 1: You have to be able to win something.
Let’s assume that you want to challenge someone’s Will. What if you win? Do you get anything? If the answer is no, meaning you do not stand to inherit anything if you prevail, you do not have what is known as “standing” to challenge the Will. To file a Will challenge you must stand to inherit something after proving that the current Will is invalid. This means the previous Will must have given you an inheritance, or you would have inherited if the person had died without leaving behind a Will.
Required Element 2: You have to be able to invalidate the Will.
Once you have standing, you then have to prove to a court that the Will is somehow invalid. This means that the Will does not meet at least one of the legal requirements imposed by state law. For example, you might be able to show that when the testator — the person writing the Will — signed it, they did not do so in the presence of two witnesses. There are numerous reasons you can challenge a Will, but you must be able to prove your grounds in order to win.
Required Element 3: You have to file your challenge in time.
Every state has various timelines involved in the probate process. To challenge a Will, you must file your claim with the court before the timeline has expired. If you file outside of that timeline the court will dismiss your case even if you can prove the Will is not valid.
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