Can I Challenge a Will? 3 Questions
Question 1: Who has the right to challenge a Will?
Not just anyone may challenge the validity of a Will. Though state laws differ slightly, all require that
you be related to the Will in some manner. Typically, you must be able to show that you would have
received more from the decedent, if he or she had died without a Will; or if he or she wrote an earlier
Will that left you more than the current Will.
Question 2: When can I challenge the Will?
A Will doesn't become effective until the person who wrote it—the testator—dies. So, this means that
you must wait until the testator dies and, usually, until the Will is filed with the probate court. You must
also file the challenge within the probate timeline established by state law. Though this timeline differs
significantly depending on the circumstances of the case and the state, you must file the Will challenge
within the timeline or your challenge will be dismissed.
Question 3: How can I overturn a Will?
To convince a court to “overturn” a Will, you must be able to show that the Will wasn't created
properly. Usually, this involves showing that the testator did not have the required mental capacity to
make the Will, either because he was suffering from a mental condition that didn't allow him to make
choices, or was under the undue influence of someone else when making it. In any Will challenge, it is
up to the challenger to prove the Will is invalid.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Seattle WA of the Byrd Garrett PLLC offers estate planning and
business planning resources to residents of Seattle WA. To learn more about these free resources, please
visit http://www.byrdgarrett.com today.