A will contest is an action by an “interested person” to prevent the admission of a “contested” will to probate.
Any interested person has the right to contest a will either before or after it is offered to probate. Probate Code §48(a) defines interested persons as an heir, devisee, child, spouse, creditor, beneficiary, anyone having a property right or claim against the decedent’s estate that may be effected, anyone having priority for appointment as representative, or a fiduciary of the above.
The statutory grounds for “contesting” a will are: (1) due execution, (2) lack of testamentary intent or capacity to make a will, (3) undue influence, (4) fraud, (5) duress, (6) mistake, and (7) revocation. There are also other grounds for contesting a will, such as, it contains improper bequests to a disqualified person, was improperly executed, or appears to have been signed by someone other than the decedent.
If you are considering a will contest, please contact us as soon as possible before the statutory time limit to file a will contest expires. You should also get legal advice regarding the will’s “no contest” clasue. Call (714) 963-7543 today.