Steps to contesting a will

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You need to remember few guidelines before you eventually begin contesting a will.

  • A will maker shouldn’t be a minor, if he or she is a minor; you stand a definite chance to contest a will. Gather information about the minor’s age limit. As each state run its own law in defining a minor.
  • Check whether the will maker is of sound mind. Has he got doctor’s assessment certificate. You can choose to contest a will, if the will maker has not attached a written doctor’s statement. The statement should confirm ‘the will maker is a person with a sound mind’.
  • It’s important for you to realize, as a spouse, you are entitled to receive a definite portion from the property. The State has a clear stand on distribution of properties, irrespective of what the will says. A single spouse is at liberty in contesting a will, if the will deprives her of choosing a select property. A spouse can’t be overlooked by a will maker and make his child inherit his property.
  • Normally, spouses turn out to be a major beneficiary in a will, few will makers, though, put limits on the property. They might get a trustee to take care of the property and pass on the benefits to the spouses. There could be a glitch here, if the will doesn’t suffice certain aspects. Contesting a will then becomes a spouse’s right if the will doesn’t cover possibilities of a remarriage by a spouse, increase needs of spouse with time and the ability to manage trusts.
  • Before contesting a will, make sure you know who the witnesses are. The witnesses are required by the law not to be a minor at the time of signing on the witness column. He should be mentally sound, able to understand the significance of a will. Incompetent witnesses make a strong case in contesting a will.

Try and find out whether a witness can be a beneficiary as well in the laws of the state. If the witness turns out to be beneficiary in the property when the law of the state says no, you can stick to your stand and contest a will.


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