When a person has come into possession a real estate property, either through making a purchase or inheriting it, then they should make an estate plan. One of the legal documents that must be included in this is the Last Will and Testament which states what will happen to the properties in case the owner passed away. Doing this ensures the transfer of ownership after their death is smooth.
When your loved one, specially one or both of your parents, prepared this kind of legal document and have passed away, you may find something questionable about it. If you really doubt the legality of what they signed then get the help of a will contest lawyer Portland has for this. They would know what you can do to prove that the testament is not legally made.
For you to challenge the will, you should be able to show that something is wrong with it, or there is something amiss with the conditions during the time it was made. There are four circumstances that you could use as basis for contesting the document. Each one must be proven by having sufficient evidences and credible witnesses.
First one is when the document was not signed in accordance to the specific laws governing them in the state they are residing. Example of this is the will should be signed by the maker or Testator with two witnesses present and able to hear him. Each of them have to sign the documents while the others are watching.
Second is when the Testator did not have a testamentary capacity anymore to sign the will, which means he must be of sound mind. The way to determine this is through checking if they understood the value and nature of their assets, and who should inherit them logically. It also includes understanding the legal effects when he signed that will.
Third is when the person was unfairly influenced to sign it specially when he had been weaker both mentally and physically. The undue influencer had done this by exerting extreme which put him under severe duress, causing him to lose his free will. This made him succumb to what the undue influencer wanted.
Fourth is when he was tricked into signing the document which he thought was about something else like a power of attorney or deed. If they had signed it under this condition they the will was procured by fraud though proving it is difficult since the Testator cannot be asked anymore. It would be judged based on the testimonies of the witnesses.
If you are still certain you have a fighting chance in challenging the will because you think its issue fall under one of the four then do so. But remember this process is expensive and time consuming. You should be prepared with sufficient evidences as well as credible witnesses to back your case up.
Proving that something is wrong with the document is really difficult. Having medical evidence of their mental incapacity when they signed it could help. And if you fail, you might end up with nothing but the expenses during the procedure.