How do I contest a will?
A loved one dies and you find out they left a will behind and named you as a beneficiary. If upon hearing the contents of the will you decide that you do not agree with it, you may be able to contest it. In Colorado, you are allowed to challenge a will if you stand to gain an inheritance. Challenging a will is not easy. However, if certain conditions are met, it can be done.
If you plan to contest the will, you should do so immediately. According to the AARP, you should only seek to challenge a will if you feel the financial benefit is worth the risk of harm to your relationships with the other parties who are involved. Contesting or challenging a will is essentially the same as revising it after your loved one’s death. To successful contest their will, you will need to prove one of the following.
- The testator was not capable of making sound judgments and lacked mental capacity at the time the will was created. This lack of mental capacity could be the cause of dementia, senility and other health issues.
- The testator was tricked or coerced into creating or signing the will against their wishes.
- The person who stands to gain the most from the will must have exerted undue influence on your loved one before he or she made the will and died.
If you can prove there is an updated copy of the will, you may be able to use that to successfully challenge the will.
In order for a will to be valid, it must be created and executed in accordance with the law. If your challenge is successful, the courts will distribute the deceased’s property and assets according to interstate succession laws unless there is prior valid will. This information is only intended as educational material and should not be used as legal advice.