There may be circumstances under which your will may be contested. To ensure that your will is executed properly, it is important that you understand the conditions under which your will may be contested, and, subsequently, strengthen your will so that it is less likely to be challenged.
A person may challenge a will on a number of grounds, including but not limited to:
- Alleging that the testator was not of sound mind during composition of the will
- Alleging that the testator was unduly influenced by another person during composition of the will
Wills can also be formally challenged if they do not fulfill the requirements for constructing a valid will.
Another reason one might challenge a will is if the will neglects to include an individual whom believed they would be named in the will. If this is the case, that individual may be able to make a claim under the Testator’s Family Maintenance Act of 1912. The following individuals are legally able to make a Testator’s Family Maintenance (TFM) order if they do not feel as though they been adequately represented in the conditions of the will:-
- The surviving spouse
- Children, including ex-nuptial, adopted and step-children
- Parents (if the individual dies without a spouse or children)
- A divorced spouse who is receiving or entitled to receive maintenance from the individual at the date of their death
The process of filing a TFM claim is arduous and can be emotionally draining. It is highly recommended that if you enlist the services of a quality lawyer should you feel as though you have been left out of a family member’s will. The team at What do I do? is also available to help you navigate these potentially complex legal waters.