Is it Possible to Prevent a Will Challenge?

May 24, 2011 Hull & Hull LLP Estate & Trust, Litigation Tags: , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

In a recent blog published by Forbes, Mr. Bernard Krooks considers strategies that could be used to prevent a Will challenge.

In his blog, Mr. Krooks states that "Will contests often occur after a heir or family member perceives some inequity or unjustness in the distribution of money or possessions laid out in the will.  This can be the result of a lack of requisite mental capacity to execute the will, another’s undue influence over the testator, fraud, or improper execution of the will."


Mr. Krooks suggests that a Lawyer drafting a Will can send the testator to medical professional to obtain an opinion on the testator’s capacity to execute a Will.   This would be strong evidence which could be used to propound the Will, long after the testator has died.


Mr. Krooks also suggests that the drafting Lawyer should consider the use of a videotape at the time the testator is signing the Will.  Mr. Krooks explains that the videotape could be used to show that the testator signed the Will "freely and with the requisite mental capacity to agree." 


The use of a videotape at a will execution,  has significant benefits, but also has numerous problems.  This technique has been the topic of numerous debates between estate and trust professionals.


There are steps that we can take to ensure that the Will is being executed in accordance with the applicable legislation, which could help the estate trustee propound the Will; however there is no legislation in Ontario that would estopp a party who has a financial interest in an estate from challenging the validity of the subject Will.


Thank you for reading,

 

Rick Bickhram – Click here for more information on Rick Bickhram. 

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