When a testator passes away, their will is validated and submitted to probate court. Once validated, the executor may contact heirs, pay estate taxes and debts and distribute assets. The probate process can take several months to over a year to complete.
The probate process could extend if the will is contested. This may delay when assets are distributed. There are many reasons why a will might be contested. Some of these reasons may not be the most valid. However, there may be a clear reason for a contested will. Here’s what you should know:
An executor is not doing their due diligence
The executor of the estate is a highly demanding role. It’s important that an executor acts swiftly. However, an executor may be too busy with their work or life to attend to their duties. As a result, the responsibilities of an executor may be neglected, causing a delay in probate.
The will is forged
Some people may try to pass off a forged will as the authentic thing. This is typically done so that the testator’s last wishes appear to directly benefit the person who made the forgery. It’s not always clear when a will might be a counterfeit. If a will contradicts previous instructions in an older will or if the testator’s signature dramatically changed, then there may be signs of forgery.
A testator was coerced into making a will
Unfortunately, many wills are made under duress or through coercion. Much like a forged will, the results often intend to directly benefit one person. As a result, beneficiaries and heirs may be removed from a will.
There are multiple conflicting wills
A will is a complicated legal document. If a new will does not revoke an older will, then there may be contradictions. As a result, someone may not benefit from an estate.
If there are issues relating to a deceased loved one’s estate, then it may be beneficial to reach out for legal help.