What Makes a Will Legal and When Can You Contest One?
Nov 3 2018 0

What Makes a Will Legal and When Can You Contest One?

After death, the testator or the person who makes a will has their wishes carried out so that family members and other parties are cared for. State laws across the U.S. and in California state what is legal and what is not in a person’s last will and testament. There are many elements to a will and there are certain requirements that must be followed to ensure its legality. Whether or not you can contest a will depends on the circumstances. You can avoid arguments over your last will and testament by hiring an experienced California probate and estate planning lawyer, but it’s still important to understand your rights and how to construct your will.

California Law About Drafting Your Will

What Makes a Will Legal and When Can You Contest One?There are many standards to be met when your or your loved one initially drafts their will. For one, when the whole process begins, you have to ensure that your will is documented in writing Most states only accept a last will and testament when it is typed, but others will accept handwritten wills. Some items are typically included in a person’s last will and testament in California:

  • The names of the individuals who you are leaving assets to such as spouse, friends, and other relatives
  • The names of those who you want to absolutely exclude from your will
  • The name of the guardian who will now look over your children
  • A list of assets and instructions for how they will be given away
  • The name of the executor in charge of your estate and will

Most people will turn to the help of an experienced probate and estate planning attorney to draft their will so that no aspects are forgotten and that the attorney can see the will through. An estate lawyer, particularly one that is familiar with probate law, is typically best for handling these aspects. Our attorneys at Levia Law have years of experience with the court process surrounding these types of legal documents and can ensure your will and intent is carried out after your passing

Contesting a Will in California

If you must contest your loved one’s last will and testament in court because you do not believe that it met the necessary legal standards, your California probate attorney can help. Contesting wills isn’t common and doesn’t happen as often as you think it might. Some of the reasons why wills are contested each year include :

  • The person was younger than at least 18 years at the time of making the will.
  • The maker wasn’t of a ‘sound mind,’ which means that they were incapable of making the will with a good and healthy mental state and knowing what they were doing at the time.
  • The will was made in fraud. If somebody manipulated the testator into making the will, the will could be contested.
  • Witnesses didn’t date and sign the will.

California Estate and Probate Attorney

If you believe that your loved one’s will was not made in good standing, we can help you through the process of bringing a claim. You will need an experienced estate lawyer to handle these needs from start to finish. We are here for you every step of the way when it comes to this arduous and sometimes-complicated process at the Leiva Law Firm. You have many rights when it comes to a loved one’s estate and making sure that these matters are handled properly. Contact us today to get started immediately at (818) 703-1777.


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