When a person passes away without a will, it can make a difficult time even more challenging for a family. Taking steps to execute a will can expedite the probate process while sparing loved pens from unnecessary uncertainty and hardship.
There are a few reasons why a seemingly valid will may not be effective. Here are some important things that you should know about legal requirements for wills in Alabama and grounds to challenge their validity.
Two witnesses must be present when a testator signs a will. The witness’s signatures must also appear on the will. Testimony from witnesses before a probate court that they were present for the signing of a will may not be sufficient to resolve this oversight.
It is not necessary for a testator to appear before a notary to execute a will in Alabama. However, taking this extra step may help to establish a will’s authenticity by making it self-proving. A person challenging a will must prove to a court that it is more likely than not that the will is invalid. Notarization can make it harder for a challenger to meet this burden of proof.
A person’s mental state is integral to a will’s efficacy. Claims that a testator was not of sound mind or was under the influence of duress could be grounds to dispute a will.
Ultimately, due diligence during the estate planning process about procedural requirements can help prevent disputes and ensure that the probate process goes smoothly.