Conditions for Contesting a Will

Saturday, April 6, 2013, AM | Leave Comment

You were sure that your father will leave the major part of his property to you after his death. But in reality, this entire destiny was bestowed on your housekeeper. So is there something you can do now than merely complaining of your fate?

The good news is that yes you can. If you are certain that your loved one’s will is based on invalid terms, then you have an option to contest it.

In other words, if a person is not satisfied with the terms or the conditions of a will, he or she holds the right to challenge it in the court.

However, proving a will to be invalid is a real difficult task and hence must be considered under utter urgency and certainty.

This choice of contesting a will does not fall at everyone’s hands. In other words, you cannot contest your friend’s will only because you think he has left the estate to a wrong person.

In order to exercise your right for contesting a will, you must either be a nominated beneficiary of the will or should have inherited it from a loved one.

In addition to the above condition, you cannot merely contest a will only because you see an uneven distribution. Rather, a will can be contested under specific circumstances only.

There has to be real evidence in order to prove that something is actually wrong with the terms of the will.

Then how to contest a will? Well, here are certain situations under which it is valid to contest a will.

  1. Mental Incapacity

    You can contest a will if you feel that your loved one was actually incapable of writing the will. In order to prove this, you may get hold of professional medical records by the doctor who examined your loved one during or around the time the will was written.

    Apart from the doctors, the witnesses presented around at that time may also help in confirming the mental incapacity of the person.

  2. Undue Influence

    This is another powerful context that may serve in your favor. If you strongly believe that your loved one would have changed his or her mind relating to the distribution of the will under a third person’s influence, you are allowed to contest the will.

    As the general rule of thumb, the person contesting the will is required to prove the other person’s undue influence on his loved one in the court of decision.

    In case if the other person holds a fiduciary relationship with the loved one, then he has to prove himself of not indulging in any form of undue influence.

  3. Fraud

    Apart from the above two, there is also another way to contest a will. You can argue that your loved one was fraudly dragged into signing the will if you believe so.

    A fraud is deemed to occur in case your loved one was forced to sign the will that is entirely out of his willingness.

    Another fraud scenario could be that someone supplied your loved one with wrong or misleading information that eventually forced him or her to change his mind on the distribution in the will.

Once you know the conditions for contesting a will, you must as well know how to contest a will. The foremost step for this is to contact an attorney who will further aid you in filing the claim with the court. Next, the procedure goes. Remember, if you are successful in proving the flaws in the will, the court may reinstate the prior will.

Author Bio:

Sophie Patrick is an international lawyer who has won several high profile cases and understands Wikipedia’s definition on Wills. She also writes a blog that contains several articles concerning tips on can I contest a Will topic.

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