How do I contest a will?
Under certain circumstances, a will may be treated as invalid by a court. In such cases, a claimant can challenge the validity of the will. If a will is invalidated, the deceased’s assets will not be distributed according to the will, and such assets may instead be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act.
A will may be invalid when the formalities are not complied with. For more information on the formalities of writing a will, find out how to make a will.
In addition, a will is also invalid if it can be proven that at the time of making the will, the deceased was of an unsound mind.
Furthermore, if the deceased was under undue influence, the will is also invalid. Undue influence can refer to the unconscientious use of one’s power over another for selfish purposes. For example, coercion, threats, harassments or persistent persuasion may amount to undue influence by one party in causing the testator to err in the making of his will.
Finally, Singapore’s Inheritance (Family Provision) Act also allows the spouse and children of the deceased to apply to the court for monetary maintenance, in either a lump sum or monthly allowance, if the deceased did not so provide in his will.
On a related note, the lawyer who draws up a defective will which does not reflect the true wishes of the testator, may be liable for negligence to the potential beneficiary. For instance, if the testator instructed his lawyer to make a provision in his will to bequeath $10,000 to his son, and the lawyer negligently failed to do so, the son may be able to sue the lawyer for negligence.
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