Who can contest a will?

There are many reasons why people may believe that they should contest some provision within a will. However, not everyone has the legal standing to do so. Understanding who is granted the right to contest a will in certain scenarios is a good place to start when considering whether or not you should attempt to contest a will. There are certain conditions which must be met before anyone can contest a will. Individuals may not contest a will simply on the grounds that they believe they have not received a fair share, for instance.

Probate laws generally indicate that only “interested persons” may contest a will. Interested persons are specified to be children, heirs, devisees, spouses, creditors, or any others having a property right to the estate in question. Those who wish to challenge a will are usually either beneficiaries of a prior will, beneficiaries of a subsequent will or those who believe they are the rightful heirs of an individual who has failed to leave a valid will.

Contesting a will is a risky and often alienating course of action. Anyone considering contesting a will would benefit from the experienced counsel of qualified family law attorney to help sidestep potential pitfalls and protect the rights of all involved.

Usually, the law requires any parties, whether they are named beneficiaries, relative heirs, or perhaps minors who wish to contest a will, to prove that they have “standing” to contest a will. Without proving legitimate standing, will contestation is generally not possible. If a minor wishes to contest a will, he or she may be allowed to do so, but are usually required to wait until he or she reach the age of majority.