When you’re dealing with a will, you may question when it could be invalidated (if ever). The truth is that wills can be invalidated in some cases, such as if there were errors made when it was created or if it’s believed that someone unduly influenced the decedent before their death.
There are many reasons that a will can be invalidated, but some of the most common are as simple as not following the instructions to validate the will or finding that the testator was not of sound mind. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind.
Wills can be invalidated if the testator doesn’t understand what they’re signing
If the testator doesn’t understand the document, can’t remember the changes they’re making or has no way to recall the legal importance of a will, then the will itself may not be valid. When a testator doesn’t have the capacity to understand what they’re signing or what it means for their beneficiaries, then they may not have the legal power to sign the will. People with a history of illness, such as those with dementia, may not always have the capacity to make legal decisions.
Coercion could invalidate a will
If a person is coerced into creating a will or making changes to their will and others find out, the new will could be invalidated. Undue influence is a common cause of will contests.
Legal errors make the will invalid
When legal errors occur, a will may be invalid in part or in full. For example, if the will was signed by the testator and their attorney but not enough witnesses, the will may not be valid in the eyes of the court.
Another kind of error that could lead to the will being invalidated is noting that it was not dated. This is particularly troublesome if there is more than one will since the court won’t have any way of knowing which will came first or second.
If you want to avoid trouble with your will, make sure you go through the correct legal steps to establish it and validate its authenticity.