Disappointment with the terms of someone’s last will and testament might prompt you to contest the document’s legitimacy. You should not take the act of contesting a will in California lightly. You can only bring forward the legal challenge if you have legal standing to contest the will. You must also notify all other interested parties to the will as part of the process.
Beneficiaries of the will
A will names beneficiaries who are to receive portions of the estate. They may be either relatives of the deceased person or anyone that person chose to include in the will. Any of the people or entities named in the will could choose to contest the will if they perceived viable reasons for taking legal action.
Any relatives of the deceased
Although wills typically name relatives as beneficiaries, they rarely name all relatives. These relatives will require notice that you intend to contest the will in court because their family relationship to the deceased makes them interested parties. Any of these people could contest the will as well.
Beneficiaries of previous versions of the will
People sometimes write a will, change their minds about something and write a new will. The beneficiaries within the previous version, if different than the currently named beneficiaries, will require notice as interested parties. The former beneficiaries could contest the new will if they choose to do so.
Legal reasons to overturn a will
Altering a deceased person’s final wishes can only be done if you can prove that the document was not executed correctly, was replaced by a new will, or the person writing it was not of sound mind. Evidence that the will’s author was unduly influenced by another person could overturn a will as well, but this is difficult to prove.