|Did You Know ...
While its simplicity is a definite benefit, a last will has serious disadvantages. For instance, a will is only an instruction to a court of law; it can be contested. Once entered into court, your will is public record, eliminating any privacy.
Relatives, friends, and associates can be reading a newspaper, read about your death and petition the court to share in your wealth. Family Court can be heartbreaking for many; not only do your loved ones have to cope with your death, but then have to battle other acquaintances and distant family members for the right to your estate.
Unfortunately, when a last will comes before a court, you are no longer around to vouch for it. A will can be found to be invalid for several reasons including:
- Improper execution;
- The grantor was not mentally competent and able to understand what they were doing when they executed the will;
- The will was made under duress, or as a result of undue influence from another person.
If the will is found to be invalid for any reason, the court will usually treat it as though you had died intestate, or without a will. At that point, the particular state you reside in will decide how your property will be distributed. And if there are no living relatives, the property reverts back to the state.