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Probate litigation: On what grounds can a will be contested?

Most  Illinois estate owners try to incorporate instructions, documents and details in their estate plans to help their loved ones when the time comes to administer their estates. Any number of issues can lead to probate litigation, however. For instance, there are certain circumstances that would make it appropriate to contest a will. 

Understanding what are not grounds for contesting a will can help clarify issues that constitute just cause. If an adult child is not happy about a sibling’s portion of inheritance, it is not necessarily a valid reason for contesting the parent’s will. The son or daughter in question would need more of a reason than merely being dissatisfied with a particular share.

On the other hand, if the son or daughter can show the court evidence that the parent in question was not of sound mind when signing the will, that is another story altogether. An estate owner must be of mentally sound to execute the documents in an estate plan. Perhaps the parent was indeed of sound mind but the adult child who believes he or she got the short end of the stick thinks someone coerced the parent or threatened harm; as such, these issues may constitute just cause for challenging a will.

Probate litigation is stressful. It is especially so when those involved are siblings who are pitted against each other. Any Illinois resident who wants to show evidence of fraud, lack of capacity or disregard of state law may file the appropriate petition to contest a will in probate court. Such proceedings may be a lot less stressful if the person challenging relies on experienced legal representation.