Users' questions

Can you contest against a will?

Can you contest against a will?

Can a will be contested? Yes, although the person contesting the will must be a spouse, child, cohabitee or a person who is expressly mentioned in the will, or a previous will. The person must also ensure they have valid legal grounds to contest a last will and testament successfully.

Is a will worth contesting?

Contesting a will can be a lengthy and expensive process. But if you’re owed property when a loved one dies, a will contest may be your best chance to recover it. A last will and testament dictates who gets your property after you die.

Will being contested?

To contest the will, you need a valid reason. These are fairly straightforward. You need to reasonably prove the testator lacked the mental capacity to understand what was going on when the current will was signed, was pressured into changing it or that the will failed to meet state regulations and is thus not legal.

Can a person contest the terms of a will?

If you’re disappointed with your share of the estate, or if you feel you were wrongly excluded from the will, then you may be able to contest the will. Contesting a will means challenging its terms in probate court, usually with the help of a probate lawyer.

Can a beneficiary contest the validity of a will?

Contesting a will requires that a beneficiary file a formal legal challenge against the validity of the will. A person must have standing to bring a will contest, which means he or she must have a financial interest in the estate, usually as a named beneficiary or someone who is entitled to inherit based on existing law.

What are the pros and cons of a no contest will?

The main “pro” to including a no-contest clause is that it often does effectively deter beneficiaries from bringing a legal challenge to the will. On the flip side, however, if there actually were any errors in the will or trust, the existence of the no-contest clause leaves no recourse for that beneficiary.

What happens if I challenge a will in court?

A potential complication is that some wills include “no contest” clauses. These state that beneficiaries will lose the inheritance the will gives them if they unsuccessfully challenge it, losing the will contest in court.

Can a no contest clause be included in a will?

A no-contest clause, also called an in terrorem clause, is a provision that you can include in your will or revocable living trust which states that if anyone files a lawsuit to challenge who you have provided for in your estate plan, then the person challenging the will or trust will receive nothing from your estate.

Is it worth it to file a will contest?

If you’re considering filing a will contest because you don’t believe a family member or friends will properly reflect their final wishes, then beware. Will contests are emotionally draining and very costly in terms of both time and money.

Who is entitled to standing in a will contest?

In the context of a will contest, standing means that the party involved in the lawsuit will be personally affected by the outcome of the case. In other words, the person contesting the will must either be an intestate heir or a beneficiary named in the decedent’s prior will.

Can a person contest the will of a friend?

Only certain people can contest a will. For example, you can’t contest your friend’s will just because you believe she shouldn’t have left her estate to her niece. You must be an interested party.