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What you need to know before contesting a will

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2022 | Probate Litigation

If you believe there are glaring issues with the will left behind by a loved one, you can prevent its execution by contesting it in probate court. If you succeed, the judge or jury will revoke the will and distribute the estate according to state guidelines.

However, contesting a will is easier said than done. The courts are not quick to invalidate a will, and you must provide compelling reasons.

When can a will be revoked?

The court can invalidate a will for several reasons. For instance, a will can be declared invalid if it was not duly executed and failed to meet the state’s legal requirements. This can happen if no witnesses were present during the signing of the will or if the testator did not sign it.

A lack of testamentary capacity, such as when the testator was of unsound mind when creating the will, or cases of undue influence by a third party can also be grounds for revocation of a will.

Do you have evidence to support your claim?

For all the above reasons and others that you may have when contesting a will, you need some form of evidence to convince the court. Remember, the burden of proof lies on you, the petitioner. It’s up to you to show the court that the will doesn’t reflect the testator’s true wishes or some other reason it shouldn’t be executed.

Contesting a will may be an uphill task, but it is not impossible. The unique circumstances of your case and the evidence you have will determine your odds of getting a desirable outcome. Getting an informed evaluation of your case beforehand is advisable. It will help you determine if you should proceed.