The creation of a last will and testament does not always prevent disputes from arising after someone passes away in South Carolina. A variety of reasons, such as a concern that someone took advantage of an elderly person, could prompt a person to contest a will. Probate courts oversee the validation and execution of wills, and a will contest petition requires the identification and notification of all interested parties.

Interested parties could encompass a larger group of people than the petitioner might initially realize. The people named within the actual will document form a group of directly interested parties. In addition to the people listed within the will, the probate court might deem some or all family members of the decedent as interested parties regardless of their presence or absence within the will.

A previous version of a will could produce more interested parties. People named within a previous will that were not named in the current will might still require notification and consideration during a will contest action. Both sides involved in probate litigation must take care to inform all potential interested parties about the will contest. This notification gives interested parties a chance to participate in the litigation if they have claims or concerns to express.

Someone concerned about the validity of a will or who needs to defend a will might want the guidance of an attorney. Legal counsel might possess the resources to identify interested parties. Furthermore, someone who understands the process of petitioning a probate court might be better prepared to take action. An attorney could develop appropriate strategies to defend the client’s position and communicate them clearly to the court.