In order to contest a will, the objectant must have “standing”, meaning they would legally be entitled to a share or a greater share of the estate if the will was declared invalid. “Standing” alone, however, is insufficient. There must also be grounds for contesting as provided below.
1. Undue Influence: Independent caregivers and caregiver children who end up being named primary beneficiaries under the will are often scrutinized for having prevailed upon the decedent to leave them the lion’s share of the estate. The various means alleged may be physical or mental abuse, threats and isolation of the disabled person. Even non-caregivers who had influence over mom or dad may be challenged where they end up with more than their fair share. As with any court proceedings, proof of the claim will need to be made.
2. Improper Execution: The formalities for executing a will must be strictly observed. The formalities include that the witnesses believed the decedent was of sound mind, memory and understanding. There must be two witnesses who signed in the presence of the testator and of each other. The testator must declare in front of the witnesses that they read the will, understood it, declare that it is their last will and testament and approve of the two witnesses to act as witnesses to the will.