Akridge & Balch, P.C. | Attorneys at Law
Helping You Reach Your Goals

What might make a will invalid?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Estate Planning

When you’ve worked hard your entire life and accumulated wealth, you want to be sure your estate will go to the right people when you die. This is the essence of creating a will. Without one, the government would determine who gets to inherit your property and who doesn’t – and you might not agree with their decisions. 

For your will to be implemented, however, it must be valid. So, when can your will be declared invalid by the probate court? Well, here are two scenarios when this can happen:

When it is improperly executed

Per Alabama wills laws, you must be at least 18 years of age at the time of creating your will. Next, you must sign the will in the presence of at least two non-interested persons who must also append their signatures to the document. A will that doesn’t meet these basic legal requirements will most likely be invalidated by the court.

Lack of testamentary capacity

Your will may talk about your wishes and how you’d wish to have your estate distributed when you die. However, it’s important to understand that it’s a legal document. If there is evidence that you lacked the mental capacity (possibly due to a degenerative illness like advanced dementia) at the time of signing your will, then the document may be deemed invalid. Likewise a will that is signed too close to your death after a long illness might raise questions.

Your will may also be invalidated if there is evidence of fraud or undue influence.

Protecting your legacy

Your will is your mouthpiece when you are no longer around to speak for yourself. A valid will can ensure a speedy and trouble-free probate. An invalid one, on the other hand, can set your loved ones up for costly legal battles. Find out how sound legal advice can help you create a will that will stand the test of probate.