How to Succeed in a Will Contest
In the disputing wills of a loved one’s death, it’s not uncommon for friends or family to feel wronged. Maybe they were left out of a will completely, or they weren’t given what they believe is their fair share of the estate. If they are convinced that there is a legal flaw in the will, they may want to bring a lawsuit against it. However, bringing a will contest can be challenging and expensive.
To bring a suit, you must have “standing” – that is, you must have a legal reason to contest the will. If you do not, your claim will be dismissed. You can file a claim on your own by filling out a petition in probate court (a clerk should be able to help you). Then, you will wait for a court date to begin the process of discovery. This is when your attorney gathers evidence, including records and testimony from witnesses.
Disputing Wills: Understanding the Process and Options for Challenging Testamentary Documents
Undue influence: You can make this claim if you think the deceased was coerced into changing their will by excessive persuasion. Lack of capacity: This is a difficult claim to succeed in; it means you must be able to show that the testator did not have the mental ability to create a will. This can be a challenge, particularly if the deceased suffered from dementia like Alzheimer’s.