Challenging a will after a person’s death can be a very difficult process, and it is important to understand the basics of this legal undertaking. In reality, there are several laws that dictate who can and cannot contest a will, and under what circumstances wills can be contested. According to FindLaw, basic probate law stipulates that a will can only be challenged by “interested persons.”
The most common persons to attempt to contest a will and be considered an “interested person” are individuals who may have been a beneficiary of a prior will, intestate heirs, and beneficiaries of a subsequent will.
It is most common for persons who have suffered damages as a result of a current will to be the ones to contest. So persons who either would have received benefits as a result of a prior will or those who would have been named in a future will had the deceased survived are the most likely to attempt to contest a standing will. Particularly in the case of an individual being “written out” of a will, contesting is very likely.
Another common group to contest a will are the intestate heirs. The intestate heirs are individuals who inherit in the event of there being no will. Most of the time these claims are brought after the original inheritances have been “settled” if one party believes that they have been denied their proper share or omitted.
So whether there is a will in place or not, the aftermath can be contested by “interested persons.” Interested persons typically involve those who are directly related to the deceased, but may also involve organizations and charities, depending.