To challenge a will you must hire a will contest lawyer. It is not possible for everyone to challenge a will. Only the ‘interested person’ can challenge the will according to the basic probate law and even then for valid legal reasons only. The ‘interested persons’ identified by probate code are children, spouses, devisees, heirs, creditors or any other persons having a property right or a claim against the estate being administered. A Caveat is a method by which the probate can be stopped temporarily.
There are several reasons for the will to be challenged. Some of the grounds on which a will can be challenged are:
Lacking mental capacity– If the testator lacked the mental capacity to know what he or she was doing while signing the will, it may be appropriate to challenge the will on the claim that.
The testator was not aware that they were signing or preparing the will.
The testator was not aware of the nature of the gifts and did not understand the effect of such gifts made under the will.
The testator was not aware of the relationship of the persons named in the will.
Undue Influence – When the will reflects a dramatic change from the previous will or to the previously expressed intentions of the deceased. You may have to look into the circumstances under which the will was prepared. The will of a person will be considered invalid if the signing of the will was done under pressure from a family person or any other person.
Will not executed properly – If you feel that the will was not drafted, signed or witnessed properly in accordance with law, you may be able to challenge the will on these grounds.
Left out in the will – If you are a dependent of the deceased, and you are left out in the will. This would mean that you are not mentioned as dependent on the will. As long as you are legal dependent you the right to be included in the will.
You must consult an experienced will contest lawyer and seek their advice and the options available to you to challenge the will.
Challenging the will is a legal task that is complicated. You will need the help of an experienced lawyer to represent you.
No contest clause
Many will contain the “no contest” clause which means that if you challenge the will without having good reasons then you stand to lose all the gifts that you would receive otherwise while the will is administered. However, if you have a valid good reason for challenging a will then the “no contest” clause should not deter you from challenging the will.
The will contest lawyer must be consulted in case you are left out of the will and you are entitled to be included. There are risks associated with challenging a will. For instance, the no contest clause is one of them. The attorney can help you with proper guidance and help you secure your right.