How to Contest a Will or Trust

A will is considered the final words of an individual and as such, it is given much consideration by the court. Trusts are developed throughout the lifetime of the settlor. If a person believes that a will or trust does not show the desires of the testator or grantor, she or he may pick to contest the will or trust.


In order for an individual to bring a claim to contest a will or trust, he or she should have standing. For a will, this implies that she or he need to be one of the called recipients or a successor at law who would have stood to inherit if there was no will. If a trust is involved, the private bringing the match should be a recipient of the trust.

Grounds to Object To a Will

There are a number of legal theories that may arise when objecting to a will. The grounds to contest a will are based on state law. Some common grounds consist of:

Inadequate Provisions

Each state has specific requirements concerning the provisions that need to be consisted of in the will in order for it to be legitimate. For instance, it may be needed that the testator particularly state that the document is the testator’s last will and testimony, that it include a minimum of one provision that directs the circulation of his/her properties and fairly identify the testator’s property. If the testator did not include these arrangements, the will might be stated void.

Lack of Testamentary Capacity

One of the common premises to contest a will is that the testator, the individual making the will, lacked testamentary capability. In order for a will to be legitimate, the testator should be old adequate to make a will according to state law. In many jurisdictions, this requires the testator to be at least 18 years of ages. Some states permit younger individuals to make a will if they are emancipated, married or in the militaries.

Lack of Will Formalities

Additionally, there might be extra procedures that the testator need to follow in order for the will to be legitimate. For instance, the will may require to be witnessed. The witness may need to personally see the testator sign the will. Some jurisdictions need that the witnesses be indifferent, suggesting that they will not take advantage of the will. Nevertheless, if interested witnesses were utilized, the remedy usually is for that specific to surrender the present she or he would have gotten in the will while the rest of the will remains intact. Some witnesses sign an affidavit that they personally experienced the testator signing the will which she or he seemed of sound mind at the time of making the will. This prevents them from being called into court to testify about the testator’s capability.

Undue Impact

Undue influence happens when the testator was susceptible and manipulated by somebody into signing the will. This may include being threatened, pushed away from household or being assured treatment by a caregiver in such a manner that the testator lacked the free choice essential to create the will.

Fraud or Forgery

A will can be invalidated if someone else signed the will without the testator’s approval. Also, if the will was a product of scams, it can be revoked. This can occur when someone provides the will to the testator and says that the file is something other than a will in order to protect the signature.

Grounds to Contest a Trust

Most of the above grounds to object to a will can likewise be utilized to object to a trust. There may be extra grounds to contest a trust, such as when the trust consists of ambiguous language and the beneficiaries disagree as to the meaning of the language.