New Jersey Courts Allow You to Challenge the Validity of a Will

The death of an aged family member is often an unfortunate, emotional time for all family members. Unfortunately, when the will is produced, sometimes family members are blindsided by its terms. This can undoubtedly add to your stress level, as disbelief overcomes you. Why would your loved one give such orders in their will? Unfortunately our elders are often vulnerable in their later years and some individuals may take advantage of this. Fortunately for you, New Jersey law allows you to contest the validity of a will and the Courts may overturn it and look back to a previous will if you can show one of two things.

The first reason a New Jersey Court will overturn a will is if your loved one created the will while they lacked the requisite capacity to do so. Sometimes when our elders become old, they may lose their memory or even get Alzheimer’s or some other disease that affects their thinking. This may cause them to create a will which they do not truly intend. If this is the case, the Court will invalidate the will and look toward the previous will as the valid dictation of the elder’s wishes. Unfortunately, challenging the requisite capacity of an elder is a daunting task for any plaintiff, as they will generally have to show is that the elder was either not aware they possessed the assets or did not intend to transfer them. This may involve seizing medical records or showing other evidence that shows they lacked the capacity to create the will on the date it was executed.

The second reason a New Jersey Court will invalidate a will is if the will was procured under undue influence. This means that your will does not reflect your elder’s true intentions and instead reflects the intentions of someone else who influenced your elder. A will must be the true intentions of its creator, therefore if someone else influences them to gift their assets in a different manner than the creator wished, the Court will invalidate the will. To show undue influence, a plaintiff must first show that a confidential relationship existed between the elder who created the will and another party, likely the defendant. A confidential relationship is one where the individuals trust each other closely. Next, a plaintiff must show evidence of suspicious circumstances surrounding the creation of the will. If this is shown, the Court may then force the defendant to show why the will is valid.

Challenging a will can be a difficult and daunting process. An experienced New Jersey Wills Attorney can make all the difference when challenging a will to help make sure you get what your elder truly wished. Call Fredrick P. Niemann, a knowledgeable New Jersey wills attorney today. He can be reached at 855-376-5291 or by email at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com/. He welcomes your inquiries.

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