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What makes a will invalid?

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2023

If you have worked hard your entire life, it’s only sensible that you make clear what you want to happen to your estate when you die. This is where will creation comes in. Without a will, California intestacy laws would kick in and determine who gets to inherit your estate.

A will speaks for you when you are no longer around to express your wishes. For your will to be enforced, however, it has to be valid. So, how do you know if your will might be invalidated by the court?

Here are three telltale signs of a will whose validity could be questionable:

An improperly executed will

For starters, a will is a legal document. Thus, it must meet certain legal thresholds to be enforceable. In California, this means that you must be at least 18 at the time of signing your will. It also means that your will must be witnessed by at least two non-interested parties. A will that is improperly executed can be contested and invalidated.

A fraudulent will

For your will to be enforced, you must know its provisions at the time of executing it. A will that contains misleading information can cause problems. Likewise, a will that bears a signature that is not yours can be deemed to be fraudulent. Thus, if an interested party can prove that someone else signed or forged your signature, then the entire document will likely be invalidated.

Lack of testamentary capacity

You cannot sign a will when you do not have the mental capacity to understand what you are appending your signature on. Simply put, if there is evidence that you were suffering from a degenerative condition like Alzheimer’s disease at the time of signing your will, then there is a possibility that the court will invalidate it.

Having a will in place at the time of your demise can streamline the probate process and ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes. For things to go to plan, however, your will must be valid.