After a person passes away, their will designates who will receive assets from their estate. Wills can be challenged, but not by just anyone. Will contest laws vary from state to state, and even within each state, laws change over time.
In Tennessee, someone can only contest a will if:
- They’d be considered a beneficiary when no will exists, OR
- They’ve been named a beneficiary in previous versions of a will.
Check out this video to learn more:
Who Inherits Assets If There Is No Will?
If no will exists, Tennessee law has intestate succession laws that dictate how assets are distributed. If the deceased had children but no spouse, their children inherit all assets distributable through intestacy. If the deceased was married but had no children, their spouse inherits those assets.
Spouses and children are typically eligible to dispute a will since they’d stand to benefit if the will didn’t exist.
Previously Named Beneficiaries Can Also Challenge a Will
If someone is named as a beneficiary in a previous version of the deceased’s will, they have standing to dispute a will. This isn’t limited to family members—it includes any party who no longer benefits because a new will was drafted.
Standing to Dispute a Will Doesn’t Guarantee Success
Just because someone has a legal standing to contest a will doesn’t mean that doing so will be successful. A successful will contest generally requires a well-prepared argument, often with the guidance of an attorney experienced with will contests and probate disputes.
Wills are usually contested on grounds of undue influence or lack of capacity of the deceased. Undue influence means that another party coerced, manipulated, or intimidated someone to change their will. Lack of capacity means that the deceased lacked the legal and mental abilities to create or alter a will when they set forth their wishes in their will.
Exploring Your Options for Contesting a Will
Though the above is an overview of who can legally contest a will, there are obviously many situations where the lines are blurred and exceptions could apply. And it’s possible you might not know whether you were named in a previous version of the will.
The best way to find out your legal options is to contact an experienced will contest attorney in your city or state. A lawyer can review the details of your situation and offer you guidance on the viability of a will contest or help you explore alternatives to getting the inheritance you deserve.
Contact Our Will Contest Attorneys to Talk Over Your Case
If you feel like you’ve been unfairly denied your inheritance, contact the Nashville will contest lawyers at Fair Share Lawyers today. You may have standing to contest a will, trust, or transfer of property that you believe is wrong, but it’s important to act quickly.
We’re here to help fulfill your loved one’s final wishes as he or she would have intended so you can get the inheritance you deserve. Let us review your case to help you better understand your options.