Deathbed wills are those created and executed when the testator is facing imminent death. These wills may be perfectly valid and binding, but the closer to the testator’s death the will is prepared the more likely it is to be challenged. The contest is usually based on a premise that the testator lacked sufficient mental capacity or was subject to undue influence. As previously stated, challenges can lead to costly and protracted will contests.
A deathbed will can potentially lead to errors. Its hasty preparation can be such that the will may not distribute the property in the manner that the testator intended. Hasty preparation can also fail to take advantage of some features that can reduce or eliminate the Federal Estate Tax. It is also more likely that the will would be found invalid because it does not conform to some legal requirement. These are some of the reasons many lawyers urge their clients or potential clients to create and execute their wills while they are still of sound mind and body.