contesting a will

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A will contest, in the law of property, is a formal objection raised against the validity of a will, based on the contention that the will does not reflect the actual intent of the testator (the party who made the will) or that the will is otherwise invalid. Will contests generally focus on the assertion that the testator lacked testamentary capacity, was operating under an insane delusion, or was subject to undue influence or fraud. A will may be challenged in its entirety or in part.
Courts and legislation generally feel a strong obligation to uphold the final wishes of a testator, and, without compelling evidence to the contrary, "the law presumes that a will is valid and accurately reflects the wishes of the person who wrote it".A will may include an in terrorem clause, with language along the lines of "any person who contests this will shall forfeit his legacy", which operates to disinherit any person who challenges the validity of the will. Such no-contest clauses are permitted under the Uniform Probate Code, which most American states follow at least in part. However, since the clause is within the will itself, a successful challenge to the will renders the clause meaningless. Many states consider such clauses void as a matter of public policy or valid only if a will is contested without probable cause.This article mainly discusses American law and cases. Will contests are more common in the US States than in other countries. This prevalence of will contests in the US is partly because American law gives people a large degree of freedom in disposing of their property and also because "a number of incentives for suing exist in American law outside of the merits of the litigation itself". Most other legal traditions enforce some type of forced heirship, requiring that a testator leave at least some assets to their family, particularly the spouse and children.

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    QLD CONTESTING A WILL - WHAT IF YOU PASS AWAY BEFORE IT IS FINALISED

    Hi, my father who is 89 is having to contest his late wife's Will under Family Provision as he was not left anything. The process has taken 9 months so far and he is waiting for the Probate Court to make a decision. He is wondering what will happen if he passes away before the dealings are...
  2. S

    NSW Beneficiary/Executor is threatening to seek a greater share of the will

    Hi Everyone, My mother and her sister (my aunt) were named 50/50 equal beneficiaries of a house left to them by their Uncle. My aunt is also the Executor of the will. My aunt has been very unforthcoming with information about the estate and has shared few details with my mum about when the...
  3. D

    VIC Wife wanting to Contest a will

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  4. M

    VIC Opinions on Contest a Will?

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  5. K

    VIC Contesting a will disabled grandson

    Advice regarding disabled grandsons entitlements for grandfathers will.
  6. A

    WA Contesting a Will - Seeking recommendations

    Hi, looking for recommendations for legal advice in contesting a will in WA. Good and bad experiences are appreciated for consideration. Prefer either around CBD or North of River. Thanks, Andrew
  7. I

    NSW Timeframe for Resolution After Contesting a Will?

    Hi, My wife's brother is contesting a will of their mother on the grounds of being inadequately provided for. He had not been part of his mother's life for quite some tears but has engaged a "no win no pay" solicitor and hence, my wife as executor of will, also engaged a solicitor. To date...
  8. T

    VIC Former Executor of Will Challenging the Will?

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  9. A

    VIC Time Limits on contesting a Will in Victoria??

    I'm an executor of my Mothers will, probate was granted on 3rd Nov 2017, my sister put me on notice on the 16th Nov 2017 to make a TFM Part IV claim to our lawyers. The Part IV law in Victoria states 2 time limits, 6 months to contest a will and 3 months from being put on notice. The 3 months...
  10. J

    NSW Can I Contest This Will.

    I have been the executor of my parent's will for as long as I can remember (20+ years). Recently my only other sibling has moved into their home and has manipulated their poor old souls against me and my partner in an attempt at a money grab. I have a bad feeling they have been successful in...