If someone contests a will in Georgia, it’s important to determine who all the interested parties are. This includes but is not limited to the people named in the will.
In general, interested parties include all family members of the decedent. Furthermore, if there is a previous will, the people listed there may also be interested parties even if they are not family members or named in the current will. It is up to the petitioner to identify who these interested parties are.
The process of challenging a will happens during probate. During probate, a will passes through the legal system and is found to be valid. Both the challenger and the defender of the will have a responsibility to identify the interested parties because these individuals must be notified and have the right to become involved in the litigation as well if they choose.
An executor is named in the will, and this person is responsible for administering the estate. The executor can hire professionals if necessary to assist with this process. Although most wills go through probate without problems, some grounds can lead to legitimate challenges. For example, family members might argue that the decedent was not mentally competent to make the will. Parties might also contest the will on the grounds that an individual was unduly influenced by someone else.
Working with an attorney to prepare an estate plan may reduce the likelihood that a will is vulnerable to challenges. The lawyer could help ensure that the legal language is correct and the client’s intent is clear. For example, if an individual wishes to disinherit a close family member, it could be better to specify that wish rather than simply not mentioning the person in the will.