Challenging a Will: Understanding the Process

When a loved one passes away, their will is intended to outline how their assets and estate are distributed among beneficiaries. However, there are instances where interested parties may have concerns about the validity or fairness of the will. Challenging a will is a legal process that allows individuals to contest its terms under specific circumstances.

Grounds for Challenging

There are several grounds on which a will can be challenged. These include lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraud, and improper execution. Lack of testamentary capacity refers to the testator (the person making the will) not being of sound mind at the time of making the will, which could invalidate its terms. Undue influence occurs when someone exerts pressure on the testator to change their will in favor of the influencer. Fraud involves misrepresentation or deception in the creation or execution of the will. Improper execution refers to the failure to meet legal requirements for creating a valid will, such as witnesses not being present.

Legal Process

To challenge a will, interested parties typically file a petition in probate court, outlining their objections and providing evidence to support their claims. The court then investigates the validity of the will, considering the evidence presented and hearing from witnesses if necessary. The burden of proof generally rests on the party challenging the will, who must demonstrate sufficient grounds for invalidation.Estate Litigation Lawyers Toronto

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