Challenging a will

Challenging a will

| Jul 8, 2020 | Firm News |

It is very common for a person to challenge the validity of a will. This usually arises when the contesting party believes that there have been some discrepancies in the makings of the will. It is important for everyone to know what it takes to dispute the veracity of a will and what can be expected once the matter is taken to probate litigation.

Proper grounds:

In the state of California, it is very common to contest the validity of a will. Essentially, there four grounds that one must be aware of when they are disputing this particular kind of case.

  1. The matter is based on the lack testamentary capacity;
  2. There is an underlying suspicion that there was undue influence in making the will;
  3. It was not properly signed either by the witnesses or testator;
  4. There was fraud in the creation of the will.

In California, either one of these grounds are enough to invalidate the will. The problem is that the challenging party must prove these elements and, sometimes, these are incredibly hard to prove in a court of law.

It is also important to know that a will can be revoked when the testator created a new will, which automatically revokes the old one, or when the will is burned, torn, cancelled, or destroyed either by the testator or anyone else who was authorized by the testator.

What to expect:

Many believe that contesting the validity of a will is a difficult task and it is not. The real problem lies in actually winning the legal dispute. As it was mentioned, trying to prove that a will is invalid can be very difficult for it is presumed that the current, existing will is, in fact, valid.

To achieve a better outcome, it is important to look into the preparation and execution of the will. In other words, investigate into the circumstances that led to the creation of the will. If one can find some evidence that links their suspicions to an actual tampering with the will, then it is safe to say that the contesting party might have a successful outcome in court.