Contesting a will

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Contesting a will

My father was terminally ill and his brother convinced an attorney to draw up a Will that completely excludes me, his only child, completely. The attorney who my uncle had draw up the Will is a distant cousin whose husband logged/cut timber and profited from the land I stood to gain if I inherited my father’s belongings in the past and I was told that my uncle offered to let her husband cut the timber again if she made the Will that left the land to him instead of me. That is crooked and shouldn’t be valid, should it?

Asked on April 23, 2019 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You need more than "pressure" to challenge a will: people are pressured everyday, in many contexts, to do things, whether it's invest in a friend or relative's business, lend money to family, buy a car they were looking at, etc., and pressure does invalidate a contract, a will, or anything else. To challenge the will, you need to be able to show one of the following:
1) Your father was not mentally competent (could not understand what he was doing) when he made the will--you would need medical evidence or doctor's testimony to show this.
2) Your father was threatened with something illegal--violence, blackmail, etc.--to sign the will.
3) Your father was, at the time he created/signed the will, so dependent on his brother (e.g. his brother was his caregiver) that he could not effecetively say "no" to him.
4) The will was forged.
5) The will was not properly signed or witnessed.
6) Your father was tricked into signing the wrong will (e.g. shown one will, then it was substituted and he signed another).
Merely being "pressured" by family is not enough.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption