A will is an important estate planning tool that outlines your wishes with respect to the distribution of your assets upon your passing. A will safeguards your legacy and ensures that assets are rightfully passed on to the people and causes closest to your heart. This is why you need to get it right from the onset.
When you draft your will, you want to be sure that it will be honored and enforced when you pass on. It would be devastating if your loved ones got hold of your will only to learn that it has flaws. Unfortunately, there are a number of pitfalls that could result in your will being invalidated.
Here are common reasons why your will could be invalidated during the probate process
There were no witnesses
A will that is not witnessed will be considered invalid. After its creation, your will must be signed by you (the testator) as well as two other independent witnesses. The two witnesses should be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind. Additionally, the witnesses must be independent, meaning that they must not be among the beneficiaries. Finally, you must sign the will in the presence of the witnesses, and they too must sign the will in your presence.
Lack of capacity
In Colorado, just as with the other states, you must be 18 years or older and of sound mind to create a will. Having the appropriate mental capacity means that you must be able to comprehend the following at the time of creating your will:
- You have identified the beneficiaries of your assets
- You understand the extent of your assets
- You understand the implications of including or excluding certain parties as beneficiaries
- Your decisions have not been manipulated by anyone else
Your will can be invalidated if it is established that you were not of sound mind at the time of creating your will.
A number of things can make your will invalid. Some of these are simple mistakes while others are more contentious issues. When drafting your estate plan, it is important to remember that you have legal rights.