Will Contests and Will Challenges

Reasons for Will Contests and Challenges

Typically, there are two reasons someone can use to contest or challenge your Will: Mental capacity and Undue Influence.

In order to make a Will, a person must be of sound mind.  This means a person must understand what he or she is stipulating to while making the Will and must be fully aware of their estate.  If the deceased person did not understand the nature and status of his estate or doesn’t understand his relationship to living family members whose interests may be affected by the Will, the Will can be contested or challenged.

Undue Influence is the most common ground for Will contests.  It involves a person taking advantage of a position of power over a weaker person.  An example of this may be when a child pushes his or her parent to write a Will and disinherit the other children.  If proved, the Will can be voided.

Some of the other reasons for Will contests and challenges may include Forgery, Fraud or having an invalid Will.


Challenging a Will

For a Will to be challenged, the person must be deceased although a Will can be changed by a competent living person at any time.  Upon death, the Will is offered for probate to the Register of Wills in the county where the deceased person resided.  Here, the Will can be challenged.  There are statute of limitations that need to be followed or you may lose your right to contest a Will.