It is impossible to legally define a fair inheritance. For instance, a deceased person has two children and both expected that they would inherit equal proportion of their parent’s estate. However, the final will and testament reveals that one of them has received the majority of the property. The other person might feel that the inheritance was unfair and consequent initiate the procedure to contest the will.
It is important to remember in this context that based on a personalized idea of a fair inheritance one cannot challenge a will. There are a few strictly defined legal parameters that allow potential appellants to commence contesting a will. Let’s get to know the grounds that allow you challenge a will:
- That The Will Lacks Validity: Under this provision, before a court of law, an appellant needs to establish that the deceased was in no position/condition (mental or physical or both) to understand and agree to the terms and condition of the will. Either he/she was tricked or coerced into making the offerings.
- That Execution of the Will Did Not Comply With the Law: Under this provision, an appellant needs to prove that execution of the will was not performed as per the law of the land that lays down specifics regarding how a will must be witnessed and signed, thereafter.
- That The Property Was Jointly Owned: If the deceased jointly owned a property, then the other party in the contract would continue to enjoy the ownership and would be eligible to challenge the will if it confers the ownership right to someone else.
- That The Will Is An Act Of Forgery: In this case, an appellant is under the obligation to convince the court that the will was created fraudulently or the deceased’s sign on the will was created through forgery or was received under false pretense.
Personnel Eligible to Challenge a Will
People with the “standing” status are legally capable of challenging an inheritance will. Standing, as per the legal rationale, implies an individual or persons, who are mentioned in the will by his/her/their names or someone who would be eligible for inheritance in case the will is proved to be invalid. Therefore, people with the capacity to challenge a will are categorized into:
- Beneficiaries in case of a prior will
- Beneficiaries in case of a subsequent will
- Intestate heirs
In a case of inheritance challenge, the court seeks detailed information from the appellant on the following aspects:
- Financial details of the deceased and his/her physical and mental condition when the will was prepared and executed
- Deceased’s specific instructions to someone else before or after the preparation and execution of the will
- Details about the deceased’s relationship with family members and other associates during preparation and execution of the will
The assistance of a qualified attorney, who specializes in challenging inheritance cases, will enable you to get in touch with beneficiaries and executors and inspect the will in detail. In this way, you will elicit the relevant information as per the court’s satisfaction. So, find out the right attorney today, if you are resolved to contesting a will.