Challenging a Will- Is It the Right Time?

A will is a legal declaration by which an individual names one or more than one person to manage his/her assets. A will allows transfer of a person's properties to family members, relatives or beloved ones after death.

Challenges are raised when property or assets are divested away from family to a third person. Anybody who is interested to gain from the will can challenge a will. To learn more about the reasons for challenging a will, please visit http://www.disputingwills.co.uk/challenging-a-will/.

It is often difficult to challenge a will, but there are several ways to do so. The validity of will can be challenged on the basis of the following grounds –

 

·         lack of “testamentary capacity”

The most successful contenders are spouse, and the most effective ground is that the person lacked testamentary capability or persuaded to write the will in a particular way. The person who is going to make a will should be of sound mind. Only adults 18 years or more are allowed to create it. When the litigation arises, testamentary capacity of the adult can be challenged on the basis of insanity, dementia, senility or lack of mental capacity. You must show that the testator is unable to understand the significance of a will at the time of its creation.

·         lack of knowledge and approval

The person must have enough knowledge of the content of his will. He must approve all the contents and sign it after understanding the content. One can challenge it on the basis of lack of knowledge of the content or suspicious circumstances. The property owner must understand that he is disposing his assets after his death.

·         lack of valid execution

A will must be in writing and duly signed by the testator in presence of two witnesses, who must sign it in presence of the testator. In most of the states, the witness should not be the one named as beneficiary in the will. Each state has a specific law that specifies how a will or testament must be signed. Failing to sign it in accordance with the state laws is the primary reason why will is challenged or found invalid.

Remember

You can challenge any will based on any of the following;

  • lack of “testamentary capacity”
  • lack of knowledge and approval
  • lack of valid execution
  • fraudulent and forged wills
  • undue influence
  • revocation 

·         fraudulent and forged wills

You can challenge a will by proving that it was procured by forgery or fraud, where somebody manipulates a vulnerable person to leave much or all the property to the manipulator.

·         undue influence

If the person making the will is under influence of a third person, then it can be challenged. One should submit high standard evidence to prove that the testator has been influenced by a third person to make the will in favour of him. You must show valid evidence to prove that the will was forged or was made due to a fraudulent act.

·         revocation

Sometimes, the testator destroys the original will and makes another one later. Such a will is not valid, and one can challenge it under this ground.

If you suspect that the will is invalid on any of these grounds, then you should consult a solicitor immediately. They will investigate the circumstances under which the will was prepared. If the validity of will is challenged successfully, the assets of the testator are distributed according to the previous will.  In order to prevent the estate from being administered in accordance with an invalid will, it is essential to act quickly. To determine the success of the case, a unique set of facts must be examined. The cost involved in pursuing probate actions vary from one state to the other. If the will is declared to be invalid, then any prior testament made by the testator will be admitted in its place.

 

Author Bio – Joseph Craig is a licensed attorney, who is the legal advisor to some of the biggest names in U.S. Joseph has helped many clients contest a will and may also help you to determine your claim. To know more about contest a will, you can go through the link -  http://www.disputingwills.co.uk/challenging-a-will/.





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