Why and how to identify \”interested parties\” in a will contest

There may be situations in North Carolina in which an individual is concerned about a loved one\’s last will and testament and is considering challenging it. Before moving ahead with a challenge to a will, it is important to understand who can mount this contest in the first place.

To contest a will, an individual must be what is known as an \”interested party.\” An interested party is anyone who is named in the will. However, there are a number of other people who may be interested parties as well. If there is a previous will, the people named in that are also considered interested parties. In addition, an interested party is usually any family member, whether or not they are named in the will.

The person who is contesting the will is required to identify the interested parties because they must be notified about the challenge. These individuals have the right to participate in the litigation as well.

There are several reasons family members may want to challenge a last will and testament. One is if they feel the person may have been too incapacitated to make the will. For example, if the person was seriously ill with a condition that affected the brain, they may not have been competent in a legal sense. Another situation is one in which family members believe that someone exerted \”undue influence\” on the loved one. One common scenario in which this may unfold is with a blended family. The children of a parent who married shortly before dying and changed the will to leave everything to the new spouse might make this allegation. Another common situation is one in which the will is changed to leave the estate to an unrelated caregiver. An attorney may be able to assist in contesting a will and estate litigation.