What You Need to Know About Incompetency and Challenging a Will

Did you know that any will can be contested? An heir or beneficiary can bring forward an official legal challenge to contest a will. What is important before putting together your will is to understand the why and the how of all will contents, so that you can prepare a last will and testament that has individual needs covered, but also has given you some protection against somebody challenging a will later on.


Bear in mind that the individual who contests the will ultimately bears the burden of proof. He or she is responsible for convincing the court that the document should not be admitted to the probate process by proving one or more reasons that the will should be found invalid. Some of the most common include:

  •    Arguing that the person does not understand the disposition of the beneficiaries in the will.
  •    Argues that the person doesn’t know the beneficiaries of the will or only recently has become aware of them and unduly influenced by them.
  •    A situation in which a person’s mental competency would mean that he or she is not aware that they are actually making a will.


Expert witnesses may be brought in when a will is challenged based on competency rules. The doctor, friends and other individuals who may have known the deceased towards the end of his or her life can help testify to their competence. One of the most important things you can do is to have your doctor sign off on your ability to sign your own will when you create it with the help of your estate planning attorney in New Jersey.