My Legal Blog

Howdy! I'm Dan Smith and I live with my wonderful family in Perth. This is my legal blog which aims to look at every part of the legal system. I should point out that i'm not a lawyer myself. However, my good friend Stan has been representing people in court for many years. I find Stan's work fascinating and I love asking him questions. I have even done a bit of my own research into the legal system. I decided to pull everything together here so I could organise my thoughts while also providing useful info for others. Thanks for checking out my blog!

4 Reasons To Dispute A Will

Law Blog

A will is a document that states how one would want his or her property divided after death. Various reasons may prompt beneficiaries or outsiders to dispute a will. They include:

1. If the Will Does Not Meet Set Legal Requirements 

A legal will must meet the following conditions:

  • The will should not have contradicting statements, and it should not contradict previous contracts, such as premarital agreements. 
  • All pages should be signed and dated by the testator.
  • At least two witnesses should sign the will.
  • The testator must be of sound mind and above 18 years; illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's may affect an individual's decision-making abilities.  

2. Coercion

A will may also be contested if there is sufficient evidence that a beneficiary coerced the testator into signing the will. For instance, a beneficiary may refuse to take care of a disabled testator unless he or she leaves life insurance benefits or a significant part of the estate to the beneficiary. 

3. Family Maintenance Claim

An immediate family member (a spouse or child) may contest the will if he or she believes the will did not adequately provide for them. A will may be nullified if the testator intentionally left out some of his or her children in the will. Typically, the court will evaluate the needs of the beneficiary and ability to provide for him or herself.

4. Breach of Trust

This happens when beneficiaries believe that the executor or a trustee does not carry out his or her duties diligently. For instance, an executor may mismanage funds while a trustee may fail to allocate funds to beneficiaries. If this is the case, beneficiaries can ask a court to appoint a trustee or executor. 

Below are a few tips to help you make a will that cannot be contested:

  • A wills and estate lawyer will ensure that your will is legal, and he or she will help you update the will as conditions change.
  • Include all people whom you have a moral obligation to provide for in the will—for instance, be sure to include a de-facto spouse or a stepchild.
  • If you wish to leave someone out of your will, include a valid explanation of why the person was left out.
  • Keep your will in a safe place to prevent malicious individuals from manipulating the document.
  • You could also read out your will when you are alive.

Different states have varying requirements for contesting a will. As such, people that wish to contest a will must work with qualified wills and estate lawyers to improve the possibility of a positive outcome. Contact a lawyer to learn more about will disputes.


14 February 2020