If a person believes that there is a reason to contest a will in Lee County, that person will need to file a will contest, also known as a Caveat Proceeding. This person might allege a number of things that would make the will invalid, such as a claim that it’s not the deceased’s most recent will or that the will was not executed according to the law. Another common reason for a will contest is that one person believes that the individual signing the will did not have the mental capacity to do so at the time.
When this happens, the other party has the responsibility for demonstrating that the will was executed according to the law and that it should be considered legally valid. If the individual successfully demonstrates that the person signing the will appeared to have mental capacity to do so, the burden of proof shifts back to the person contesting the will. This individual has to show at least one of the following things about the will in order to be successful: that the will was procured by fraud or undue influence, that the will in question was revoked by a later and valid will, or that there is evidence to rebut the “showing of capacity”.
If a will contest emerges in an estate, it’s important to speak directly with a Lee county probate attorney about your next steps. While it can cause snags in a probate situation, simply knowing what your options are and the best way to proceed is critical.
A will contest might delay the probate of an estate, but you can increase the chances of success by having legal counsel of your own to guide you in preparation for important hearings in the case.