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What often happens if there are formal objections made to the Will during probate?

A "Will contest" will be initiated if anyone with reasonable "standing" to object files a formal objection to the Will during this stage of the probate process. Reasons underlining proper "standing" to object to a Will might be that the Will was not properly drawn, signed or witnessed; or that the decedent lacked proper mental clarity at the time the Will was executed; or that the Will has been corrupted somehow by fraud or unwarranted influence of some kind; or perhaps the objection may insist that the Will itself is an out and out a forgery.

An objection to the Will may be driven a family member's insistence to install a different Personal Representative to manage the probate process; or perhaps someone in the family was cut out of the Will. If, for example, the Will leaves a sister 3/4 of a parent's estate and a bother 1/4, the brother receiving the smaller share of the estate has proper "standing" to call for a Will contest. Or, if a Will executed a year prior to the death of the parent is less favorable to someone in the Will than a version of the Will executed 10 years ago, that individual would be considered to have "standing" to contest the Will at this stage of the probate process.

If, as a result of a serious objection or objections, the Will is deemed at this stage of probate to be invalid, the probate court may invalidate the entire Will, or only the challenged section of the Will. If the entire Will is deemed to be invalid by the probate court, the estate will be distributed under the state's probate laws of "intestacy" (i.e., as if there had never been a Will).