Success Strategies When Challenging Your Parent's Will In A Probate Court

Posted on: 31 August 2016

The demise of a parent sometimes makes shocking revelations to the children left behind. Such is often the case when a child learns that he or she has been left out in their late parent's final will and testament. If you feel that you have a legitimate right to contest the will of your parent, proving any of the following cases in a court of law can boost your chances of getting a favorable outcome.

Lack of testamentary capacity

When people are signing a will, they are assumed to be in their right state of mind. If you can prove before a probate judge that your deceased parent was mentally incapacitated at the time that they signed the will, then you stand a better chance of successfully contesting the will. The best way to achieve this is by providing medical records indicating that your parent was suffering from some sort of mental illness that affected their ability to competently make a will.

Undue influence

Your chances of proving that undue influence was exerted on the testator may be increased if the deceased suffered from sicknesses that made them rely on a caregiver who ended up being a huge beneficiary of the inheritance. If you can prove that such a beneficiary took part in the preparation of the last will and testament of your parent, then you can successfully challenge the will. Here, you must prove that the deceased was coerced into distributing their wealth and assets in a way that would make the caregiver a beneficiary.


Another way to improve your chances of contesting a will is by proving that it is a fraud. What this means is that the document is a false representation of the testator's intentions as regards the distribution of their property once they are gone. To challenge a will on the basis of fraud, you need to prove that the testator's signature has been forged or that the testator was duped as regards the content of the document at the time they were signing the document. Any will that is proved to be a product of fraud is considered null and void in the court of law.

Although probate judges consider wills that have been signed and witnessed to be legally binding documents, some provisions of the law allow for aggrieved parties not mentioned in a will to contest it. In this regard, you may require the services of a competent lawyer to achieve a favorable outcome when challenging your late parent's will. For more information, contact an attorney that specialises in will disputes.