What Are Valid Grounds To Contest A Will?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | Will Contests

When a will is drafted, the person responsible for it expects his or her wishes to be fulfilled. However, a legal heir or beneficiary with a financial interest in the will may contest it if there is a valid reason for doing so.

For example, Ohio law has strict requirements on what makes a will valid or not, and a will that doesn’t conform to those standards can be contested. 

3 Examples Of Good Reasons To Contest A Will

A person should not contest a will simply because he or she disagrees with it. Instead, there must be a valid reason for doing so such as the following:

1. Undue Influence

When a testator (the person who has made the will) is put under extreme pressure for financial gain through the terms of the will, there is undue influence. 

2. Fraud

Fraud (or suspicion of fraud) is one of the principles reasons people choose to contest a will. For example, someone may fraudulently lead the testator to sign a will when he or she thought they were signing another document altogether.

3. Lack Of Mental Capacity

The testator must possess the mental capacity to understand the terms of the will being signed. Otherwise, this may invalidate the will altogether.

Other reasons to contest a will can include legal mistakes, forgery, or revocation of the will when a new one is executed. Furthermore, a will must meet the state’s legal requirements to be valid. For example, in Ohio, wills must be in writing with the exception of oral wills. There must also be at least two competent witnesses who can attest to the validity of the will.

It is important to be well-informed when considering whether to contest a will or not. It also makes good sense to get legal help to make the right decision.


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