A Will Contest is the formal objection to the validity of a person's Will. Grounds may include undue influence, lack of capacity, a subsequent Will exists, etc... During the Probate process, beneficiaries and potential heirs may submit legal challenges. These challenges must be made within the statute of limitations, so seeking legal counsel early is often recommended.
You can't contest someone's Last Will and Testament just because you aren't receiving what you expected. Above all, the grounds of your challenge must have merit. Some reasons for filing a complaint to a Will are as follows:
- Undue influence on the creator of the Will
- The creator of the Will lacked testamentary capacity to sign a legal document
- The Will was not signed in accordance to Illinois law
- The Will is a fake
Certainly, the difficulty of contesting a will depends on the grounds and the evidence. And furthermore, do not undertake this fight lightly, because it can translate into a great deal of emotional and monetary expense.
As the executor of a Decedent's Estate, you filed the deceased's Will with the Probate court. You gave notice to all heirs and potential beneficiaries. And now, you have a complaint against the Will. As described in Decedent's Estate Administration, you have the legal obligation to handle all valid claims against the estate. Barring uncommon circumstances, the good news is that the estate itself pays for the defense. The bad news is that your administration process just became exponentially more difficult.
Defending a Will Contest is a daunting task. First of all, preparing for litigation requires a game plan from an experienced lawyer. From locating witnesses to preparing documents, retaining an attorney will help you defend the estate. With the assistance of your attorney, you will file an answer to the complaint, and potentially prepare for litigation.