Contesting a Will? What You Should Know!

Depending on the situation, contesting a will can result in various conflicts. It is usually an expensive and emotionally exhausting process. Such cases are quite normal and they are decided in courtrooms all over the country.

In most cases, the people who contest wills are:

  • Individuals who feel they should have been left more money.
  • People who feel they should have been included in the will but they were not.
  • People who feel that that another individual should not have been included in the will, but they were.
  • A holographic will

Grounds for Contesting a Will

Incapacity

Any individual who wishes to make a last will and testament must be 18 years of age or older, and of sound mind. They have to be aware of what property they have and who they are giving it to. If the deceased did not meet these requirements when they were making the will, then it can be contested.

Technicalities

A will is a formal document that has to meet certain criteria. In most cases, a valid will must meet the following requirements:

  • Must clearly state the intentions of the person making it
  • There has to be two or more witnesses to the will
  • The witnesses must sign the will
  • If one of these requirements is not adhered to, then the will can be contested.

Undue influence

Undue influence is usually very hard to prove. If you intend to contest a will on these grounds, you must show that the individual in question exercised undue influence by manipulating the thought process of the deceased when they were writing the will. You can also show that the deceased had been forced to make a new will or make changes to the old one.

However, there are some situations where proving undue influence is relatively easy. For instance, if the attorney charged with writing the will is not related to the deceased, but they hugely benefit from it, a judge will most likely entertain the notion of undue influence.

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