Creating a last will and testament is one of the most important things a person can do to control his or her own legacy. When you work hard during the course of your life, you can build wealth. No matter how much money or property you have acquired, you deserve to be able to dictate what happens to that property when you pass away. A last will and testament can help you to do that.
After a death, a will is probated and the executor named in the will facilitates the transferring of assets to new owners. Sometimes, however, there is a contest to the will. A contest happens when someone believes the will should not be considered valid and enforceable. Contesting the will may become necessary if it is not a true reflection of what the deceased actually wanted.
An Oklahoma City wills and trusts lawyer can provide assistance during will contests. We represent executors who are trying to defend the will, as well as people who are challenging a will and claiming it is not valid. Our attorneys can help you in understanding what can make a will invalid. Give Parman & Easterday a call to learn more about the different ways in which we can help.
What Makes a List Will and Testament Invalid?
The Oklahoma Bar Association provides details on the creation of a last will and testament in Oklahoma. A last will and testament has to be created when you are over the age of 18 and cannot be created by someone who is incapacitated and has a guardian. There are other requirements as well, including the fact the last will and testament has to be in writing.
If there is a problem with the will, it can be considered invalid and will not be probated or stand up to a challenge in probate court. Some of the things which could make a will invalid include:
- Failure to follow formal requirements: If the will is not in writing, signed by two witnesses, it may not be considered valid. However, Oklahoma law does allow holographic wills, which are hand-written wills that are not witnessed. As a result, a failure to follow formal requirements does not mean the will is necessarily going to be invalidated.
- Unsound mind. If the will was created when the deceased was of unsound mind and no longer able to make decisions, the will should not be considered a valid one. It can sometimes be difficult to prove a person was no longer of sound mind at the time the will was created, but medical records and witness testimony can help.
- Undue influence. People should make their last will of their own accord and of their own free will. If a caregiver, romantic partner or other person exerted pressure or undue influence on the person to make a will, it may not be considered a legally valid last will and testament which should be probated.
It is important to get proper legal help in the creation of a will so you do not make a mistake which could result in your wishes not being respected. It is also important to seek assistance if you are defending or challenging a will so you can make the best case possible to protect the deceased and to protect an inheritance.
How Can an Oklahoma City Wills and Trusts Lawyer Help You?
Parman & Easterday has extensive experience helping clients with their estate planning needs. If you are planning ahead and want to make sure your will is valid and not be subject to a successful challenge, give us a call. We can also provide you with assistance if someone you love has died and you need help either challenging or defending the will.
Our Oklahoma City wills and trusts lawyers know all of the Oklahoma and Kansas requirements for the creation of a last will and the arguments for challenge, so we can help you wherever probate is taking place. Give us a call today at (405) 703-9987 or (913) 385-9400 or contact us online to learn more. You can also join us for a free seminar to discover more about wills and how a last will and testament can be used in your estate plan.