Who Can Challenge A Will?
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult and emotionally draining, but thinking about the assets and money left behind by a family member can make the situation even more challenging. In some unfortunate situations, you may need to contest a will or you could be the beneficiary of a will that is being contested. Either way, partnering with a lawyer in Pawleys Island who understands the probate court and time constraints on making a will contest in South Carolina in crucial to your success.
Why Contest A Will In South Carolina?
South Carolina is a beautiful state for retirees to flock to enjoy retirement. Living along the Carolina coast may involve a caretaker as residents reach into their older years. In some cases, family members need to contest a will if they feel a caretaker or other outside party has influenced an older, vulnerable relative to change his or her will in the caretaker’s favor.
If you are facing a similar situation and feel you need to challenge a will or trust or you’re a listed beneficiary in a will that’s being contested, contact the experienced team of Hopkins Law Firm in Pawleys Island.
When a loved one makes changes to his or her will shortly before dying, family members often contest the will siting the testator’s mental capacity at the time of the change. A will can be challenged in South Carolina if:
- Lack of capacity: The testator must have a certain mental capacity to be able to change the will and for that change to be valid. A South Carolina will can be voided if it’s determined a lack of mental capacity can be proven. Absence of capacity is typically proven through medical records or witness testimony of the testator’s conduct around the time of the will adjustment.
- Lack of proper execution: A will in South Carolina must go through certain formalities to be valid. If the will isn’t properly drafted, signed or witnessed by appropriate parties, there is ground to contest.
- Undue influence: Undue influence can be the result of pressure or coercion by a healthcare worker, relative, or friend. If an individual influences the testator to change the will for their own gain at the expense of the original beneficiaries, a will contest can be made. This coercion can appear in many forms. A child of the testator may influence their mother or father to omit the other children from the will or a health care worker may threaten to refuse the proper care and treatment unless the will is modified for their benefit.
Hopkins Law Firm is dedicated to listening to your unique situation and helping you decide if contesting the will is the proper step. If you’re a beneficiary of a challenged will, we’ll review the case and help guide you through the steps to protect yourself and your loved one’s final wishes.
Without the help of a strong Pawleys Island lawyer, you will find it difficult to navigate the probate court system and challenge any information presented. The Hopkins Law Firm proudly represents residents along the Grand Strand and beyond. If you have a question about a will contest in South Carolina, don’t hesitate to contact our office.