If you have found that you meet the criteria for the time constraints to challenge or contest a will in the state that the estate is being probated, what reasons would there be to question the validity of the will?
There is sometimes the basics of whether the person actually signed the will that is being offered for probate. Sounds simple enough, except that with new high technology, near perfect copiers and unscrupulous people, this is a question that arises often. The ability to cut and paste to manufacture realistic documents is not something from a James Bond movie any more.
Many states don’t require a will to be notarized to be legal. Even a notary seal these days is no longer a raised seal that you can run your finger across to try to determine if it is a true notarized document.
If you are looking at something as simple as questioning the signature on the will, there is forensic handwriting analysis or forensic document examiners. These like attorneys who do probate litigation, is still a limited area of folks to find and can prove to be costly, especially if you need them to testify in court.
There are other areas about the validity of the will you should also explore besides the authenticity of the signature when think about challenging a will.
Written wills, handwritten wills or holographic wills are still recognized in most states as being a valid last will and testament. Some states may enforce certain requirements for them to be valid. However, if they aren’t challenged or a will contest is not enacted against them, they can serve to be valid to probate an estate.
The clerks working in the courts that handle probate don’t look for anything in particular and most wills are accepted into probate when they are presented. It is up to people with an interest in probating an estate to raise the questions about validity of the document presented as the last will and testament.
I know that I will repeat myself in each part of discussing will contesting, to check out the time lines of how long you have to challenge a will in the state the will is being probated.
Reviewing probate statutes for the state in which the person died in, leaving the will can provide information about time restrictions and who can be considered an interested person to challenging a will.