In what situations might a will be contested?

Wills are contested when one party believes that the will that was entered into is not valid. There’s a myriad of reasons for that. I’ve had cases where somebody’s handed a will, they sign it. They happen to be in their hospital room, and they were dead within 24 hours. Well, one might say – and we call those a deathbed will – but one might say that person didn’t have testamentary capacity. So that’s one reason.

Sometimes you have situations where people are signing wills for reasons that they ultimately or somebody else ultimately finds out weren’t the case. They thought they had an heir they didn’t have or they didn’t think they had heirs that they had. So there’s lots of reasons. Sometimes a will is admitted to probate and the person didn’t sign it. It’s got a signature; it just doesn’t happen to be their signature. So you can have those things.

The history of will contests are some of the most convoluted and bizarre facts out there. But basically if the person believes that the will is not a valid will, then what you do is you contest that will. And you do that through a court proceeding.