How do I contest a Will?

My siblings are not carrying out my father’s wishes and I am 1 of 2 executors.

Asked on November 5, 2013 under Estate Planning, Indiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. At the onset I would strongly suggest that you seek legal help with contesting the Will.  It is a very complicated process.  Here is the law in Indiana for objections prior to submission of the Will to Probate:

Ind. Code § 29-1-7-16 provides authority for 

objecting to the probate of a will. 

Prior to the admission of a will to probate, written objections to its probate 

alleging that such objections are not made for vexation or delay may be 

filed in the court having jurisdiction over the probate of the will by any 

interested person. No notice of the filing of such objection need be given. 

The clerk shall note such filing of an objection in the estate docket and 

copy such objections in the will record. If such will is thereafter offered 

for probate, it shall be impounded by the clerk, copied in the will record, 

and its probate continued for thirty (30) days. If an action to resist the 

probate of such will is not commenced within thirty (30) days, such will 

may be admitted to probate without notice.  

 

For objection after a Will has been admitted to probate the following statute applies:

 

Ind. Code § 29-1-7-17 provides authority for 

contesting a will.   

Any interested person may contest the validity of any will in the court having 

jurisdiction over the probate of the will within three (3) months after the date of 

the order admitting the will to probate by filing in the court the person’s 

allegations in writing verified by affidavit, setting forth: 

(1)  the unsoundness of mind of testator; 

(2)  the undue execution of the will; 

(3)  that the will was executed under duress or was obtained by fraud; or 

(4)  any other valid objection to the will’s validity or the probate of the will. 

Further, persons who have no interest in the will or who will not be affected by its 

probate cannot join as plaintiffs, since the complaint must state a cause of action in favor of all whom so join. 

 

But a will contest may not be what you want to do.  If the other executors are not following your Father's wishes then you may want to have them removed for a breach of their fiduciary duties.  That is a completely different action and you would with out a doubt need to speak with an attorney about the matter.  Good luck. 


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