During the probate process interested parties have the opportunity to challenge the validity of the will that has been presented.
Sometimes an individual is simply disgruntled. A family member or some other interested party may feel as though he or she was not treated fairly. It is possible that an objective observer would agree with this perspective.
At the same time, you can leave your assets to anyone you choose and leave out anyone you choose. The only way a will could be deemed invalid is if the challenger can present legally acceptable grounds.
The grounds that are acceptable would be fraud, improper execution, undue coercion, and incapacity.
And of course, you can’t simply draw up a will and sign it in behalf of someone else. Not only would the will be deemed invalid, but you would be guilty of committing a crime.
There is a case underway in Tennessee right now involving a man who allegedly forged a last will with two witnesses present. It was the last will of his father.
This individual is being charged with forgery, theft conspiracy, and attempted passing a forged instrument. The witnesses are being charged with conspiracy to commit theft.
We have no way of knowing the exact details of this case. Perhaps the accused individuals knew that the will was not consistent with the wishes of the decedent.
However, it would be possible for an otherwise law-abiding person to think that he or she was simply carrying out the wishes of a relative by drawing up and signing a will in his or her behalf.
As you can see from this case, it’s not that simple.
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