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Will Challenge - Guide

Will Challenge - Guide

What are the grounds for challenging a will?

LACK OF DUE EXECUTION

·       Must be in writing,

·       Over age of 18

·       Signed by the testator,

·       Intended to give effect to will,

·       In the presence of two or more witnesses.

LACK OF TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY

·       Must have understood they were making a will and effect of doing so,

·       Must have understood extent of his/her estate,

·       Able to comprehend those who might have claims against his/her estate,

·       Not be affected by a disorder of the mind, which has poisoned his affections.

LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AND APPROVAL

Evidence, which might suggest lack of knowledge and approval:-

·       Long and complicated will,

·       Confusing will,

·       Spelling mistakes, errors in will,

·       Someone who benefits under the will was involved in its preparation/drafting,

·       Vulnerability, cognitive impairment.

UNDUE INFLUENCE

If someone else exerted coertion over the person making the will.

·       Vulnerability of will maker,

·       Needs to be more than mere influence,

·       Coercion or fraud,

FRAUD/FORGERY

·       Concerns over signature,

·       May have intended to give effect to separate document not will,

If any of the above are proven then the will is not valid and an earlier will should be proven or if no earlier will then the Rules of Intestacy apply.