Challenging the validity of a will is not an action to take lightly. The process will likely be emotional, expensive and difficult to win. However, challenging the validity of a will can be the most appropriate action in certain circumstances, and can result in part or all of a will being invalidated.
Fraud, forgery and undue influence
It may be appropriate to challenge a will if you believe the will was created through deceptive means, such as fraud, forgery or undue influence. It would be fraudulent if your loved one was tricked into signing the will, and it would be forgery if someone else signed your loved one’s name on the will. It would be undue influence if a trusted person manipulated or put extreme pressure on your loved one to sign a will that benefits the trusted person. Unfortunately, ageing family members can sometimes become targets for these kinds of deceptive actions.
Also, as loved one’s age, they sometimes experience changes in their mental state and can become easily confused. The law requires anyone who signs a will to understand what he or she is signing. If your loved one was significantly impacted by dementia, senility or Alzheimer’s disease at the time he or she signed the will, your loved one may not have understood what was being signed.
Another common reason to challenge a will is when it is improperly drawn up, witnessed or executed. It can also be challenged if it contains another mistake. Often, these kinds of errors occur when someone tries to draw up his or her own will, but overlooks some of the technical components.
It is often difficult to successfully challenge the validity of a will. However, there are times when it may be an appropriate way to protect your interests and the interests of your loved one.