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My parent was coerced into changing a will: what can I do?

As our parents get older, their physical and mental faculties might start to deteriorate. In these difficult situations, the roles can quickly get reversed and it will be up to the children to take care of and protect their parent. This can be a challenge, particularly if you are estranged or if your loved one is being cared for by someone else.

However, speaking up and addressing troubling matters will be critical in protecting a parent who may not be able to speak up for themselves. For instance, if you believe your mom or dad was coerced into changing his or her will for the benefit of someone else, it can be critical that you consider contesting that will.

One of the most common reasons why people contest a will is that they believe the will or the person was compromised. 

As noted in this AARP article, this could mean that:

  • Someone took advantage of your parent's declining mental capacity and coerced him or her into changing a will
  • Your parent was tricked into signing a new will without realizing it
  • The will was improperly drafted
  • Your parent was not mentally fit enough to revise or draft a legal document

Contesting a will is a decision that should not be made lightly. Besides the cost of this legal intervention, it can extend the probate process and put strain on your relationships. However, in the end, it could prove to be a necessary move to protect your parent's assets, legacy and wishes.

If you have questions or concerns about if and how you can contest a will, it can be critical that you consult an experienced estate planning attorney.

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