When I refer to a Will being invalid, the document we are looking at is not legally sound. When drafting a Will, it must be drafted per specific state laws. Any estate planning documents that do not meet the legal criteria necessary to be considered valid documents in the state they are created will not be accepted by a probate court.
When the probate court deems a last Will and Testament invalid, the consequence will depend upon why the documents were found invalid. For example, if undue influence was a factor and found to be a reason for invalidating the will, the document would be deemed invalid, and the person responsible would likely be subjected to an investigation.
When a Will is deemed invalid, the probate court will not admit the invalid Will, and one of two things may happen.
- If there is a previous version that is considered to be valid, the court may deem this Will to be the valid Will.
- If there is no previous version of a will, the probate court will deem the estate as an intestate case (a case where no will is current at the time of death) and distribute the estate as though no Will existed.
If you have estate planning documents in place and are worried they might be invalid, call my office today for an appointment.
Heidi S. Webb, Attorney at Law, serves clients in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, and beyond with matters of Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Probate Law. Contact her today to schedule a free consultation. Visit her page on Facebook, or see what her clients are saying to learn more about Heidi.