If you are unhappy with the contents of a loved one’s will, you may be able to ‘contest’, or challenge, the will on the grounds of its validity.
Validity of Wills
A will may be considered invalid for a number of reasons, including:
- Non-compliance with the formal requirements for a will under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act;
- Improper amendments to the will;
- Lack of capacity of the will maker to create the will; or
- Undue influence surrounding the making of the will.
In an estate dispute, the first step in contesting a will is to determine whether it meets the five requirements outlined in the Wills Act. The next step is to determine whether there were any issues around the making of the will. For example, proving the testator did not have the mental ability (‘capacity’) to make the will; or proving the testator was subject to suspicious circumstances, such as undue influence by a person in a position of trust.
Please see our video Frequently Asked Questions for more on this topic.
Estate Dispute Lawyers
Estate disputes and trust challenges are complex areas of law. The addition of an emotionally-charged family situation has the potential to create a high-stress, high-stakes dispute. The estate dispute lawyers at Hobbs Giroday are well equipped to handle the full spectrum of estate litigation issues beyond will validity, from the probate process to breach of trust and Wills Variation actions.
We take the time to identify the issues, ask the right questions, conduct the appropriate investigations and provide clear, practical advice on a possible challenge to the validity of a will. If the decision is taken to contest a will, we have the expertise to bring such a challenge before the courts.
If you require a trusted advisor and seasoned trial lawyer, contact Hobbs Giroday for a no-obligation meeting about your potential estate dispute.