Losing a loved one is never easy. Getting through New Jersey’s probate and estate administration process just makes everything more difficult. Estate plans are made and changed, often many times over. When certain decisions or adjustments are made that do not make sense to family members, some may choose to question the testator’s mental capacity and challenge will or trust documents in court. In such cases, estate litigation may not be avoided.
Do you believe that something doesn’t seem right about your loved one’s estate plan? It is okay to feel that way, and it is okay to question it. No one should make you feel bad about wanting clarification and understanding. There is no harm in questioning what prompted the decisions or adjustments. The harm might come from just letting it go.
When is it okay to contest a will due to mental capacity? If the testator suffered from senility, dementia, an unsound mind, insanity or was too young to make careful decisions about his or her estate, it may be possible to question mental capacity. For a will to be valid, the testator must be able to understand what it is he or she doing and how it will affect his or her property and beneficiaries.
Proving that a loved one suffered from some type of mental incapacity at the time of estate plan creation or modification may not be easy unless he or she had a diagnosed medical issue. This does not mean that contesting a will or trust document for this reason is impossible if such a medical problem was not documented. There may be other ways to do it. An experience New Jersey-based estate litigation attorney can review your case and help you figure out the best way to proceed. To learn more, please visit our firm’s website