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Challenges to wills can draw out probate

The loss of a beloved family member can be difficult for a Michigan resident. As they work through their emotions and manage the decedent's end-of-life plans, they may begin to think about what will happen to the decedent's possessions and property. When a person dies, the things that they own become part of their end-of-life estate and that estate must be managed and distributed.

If the decedent had a will, then that document may dictate what happens to the things they owned. However, if problems exist in the will, then it may be subject to challenge. This post will briefly discuss some of the ways that wills may be challenged, but its contents are neither comprehensive nor intended to be read as legal advice. Questions about probate and will contests should be directed to an attorney.

A will may be challenged if it is believed that it was forged. Any document that was not executed by the decedent should not control the distribution of the decedent's property. Additionally, if a decedent had more than one will, a challenge may occur to clear up which of the wills, if any, should be controlling.

One of the most common reasons that wills are challenged is based on the testamentary capacity of the decedent. A person must understand what they are doing and how their estate will be impacted by the decisions they make in their will; if a person lacks the ability to understand this and other important information, their will may be deemed invalid. A will challenge can draw out the probate process and delay distribution of the estate. Help from estate planning attorneys can be useful when this occurs.

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