If you think it’s unfair that your mother or grandmother gave a larger share of their estate to your brother, you may be right, but it is not a basis upon which to challenge their will. Proving a will is invalid is a difficult process and should only be undertaken if a valid basis exists upon which to contest it. Here are a few legal reasons in which a will can be challenged:
- Mental capacity. Your loved lacked the requisite mental capacity to understand the will. The law presumes the executor is of sound mind and therefore, you must present medical or other evidence to rebut this presumption.
- Undue influence. Someone unduly influenced your loved one to execute the will.
- Your loved one was fraudulently induced to sign a will that he or she didn’t realize was a will or was induced to change a will based upon misinformation.
Due to the difficulty in proving a will should be set aside, it is important that you think twice before commencing a challenge. Furthermore, a successful challenge may leave you worse off as the loved one’s prior will may be reinstated. If there is no prior will, your loved one’s estate will likely pass under the state’s succession laws.