Legal News: Will Contests Procedure

This office has been involved in a number of will contests. There is a specific procedure to be followed. You must file an appearance before the return date of a formal proceeding; or file your own petition for formal administration of contesting a will filed under informal proceedings.

The grounds available are (1) The will maker (Testator) lacked the mental capacity to know what he was signing, or what the will actually said;

(2) The Testator was the subject of undue influence. The last will contest this office had was in Middlesex Probate, representing a disinherited adopted child.

Our job was to prove the father was subject to undue influence by the natural born child to write the older adopted child out of the will.

The burden of proof is on the contesting party (Petitioner) and the person defending the will (Respondent) does not have to do anything beyond proving the will was legally made. If anyone considering a will contest, contact us ASAP, as there are strict time limits and procedures that need be followed.