Who can challenge a will?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2021 | Probate Litigation |

Minnesota law is very specific on who can and who cannot contest a will. In order for a person to challenge a will, they will need to have what is referred to as standing. In addition, they’ll need to have grounds for contesting the will.

Who has standing?

In order for a person to contest a will, they need to have legal standing. This is a term used by the court to describe anyone with a financial interest in the deceased person’s estate. In general, there are two types of people who fit into this category. They include disinherited heirs-at-law and beneficiaries in a prior will.

Heirs-at-law are characterized as individuals who would legally be entitled to the deceased person’s estate in the event that there was no will present. Each state has intestacy laws that specify what people are the logical beneficiaries for a deceased person’s assets if they didn’t leave behind a will. If a previous will is discovered, any beneficiaries named in it can contest the current will.

There must be grounds for the contest

Just because a person has standing doesn’t mean that they can contest the will. They will also need to have grounds for the probate litigation process to proceed legally. Having grounds simply refers to a legal reason why the will would not be considered valid. Some examples include a lack of mental capacity of the grantor, undue influence, fraud or even forgery. The person will need to have evidence to support their legal claim.

Contesting a will isn’t for everyone. Only those who have a financial interest in the deceased person’s estate may do so, and that only holds true if they have the proper legal grounds. If you need assistance with contesting a will, it’s prudent to contact an experienced attorney.