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Know when you can challenge a will and prepare for the effects

Finding out that your loved one's will isn't what you expected it to be is a big shock. There are some instances in which you can challenge the will, but you need to think carefully before you take this action.

A will challenge can only be launched by someone who is either named in the will or someone who would have a right to the estate based on the state's laws of intestacy. The exception to this occurs when you are explicitly written out of the will.

Some wills have a provision in them that states that if a person in the will challenges the will and loses the challenge, they will forfeit their inheritance. This is a big gamble to take, so if this no contest clause is in the will, take the time to weigh your options before moving forward with a challenge.

You also need a valid reason for challenging the will. You can't just claim that you don't think it is correct. Instead, you would have to be able to show that the will was written up because of undue influence or under duress. You might be able to claim that the person wasn't in his or her right mind when the will was created, but you will need to back up this claim in order for the challenge to be effective.

When you challenge a will, you should be prepared for the rift that it might cause within your family. Taking this action can draw out the probate process, and it might cause family members to start fighting over the entire matter.

Source: FindLaw, "Reasons to Challenge a Will," accessed Nov. 03, 2017

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