How do I contest a will?

Last updated on July 22, 2011

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.

Estate Planning
  1. Fiduciaries and fiduciary law in Singapore
  2. Muslim Inheritance Law in Singapore
  3. What Happens to Your Debts When you Die?
  4. How to Donate your Assets to Charity
  5. Organ Donation in Singapore
  6. Can I Distribute Life Insurance Proceeds Using a Will?
  7. 8 Tools You Must Know for Estate Planning in Singapore
Making a Will
  1. How Do I Make a Will?
  2. Choosing an Executor for Your Will in Singapore
  3. Get An Affordable Will Made By Experienced Lawyers
  4. Where Should You Store Your Will?
  5. Why Should You Make a Will?
  6. What is a Mutual Will, Mirror Will and Joint Will?
Preparing for Incapacity
  1. How to Plan for Mental Incapacitation
  2. Lasting Power of Attorney in Singapore
  3. Advance Medical Directives in Singapore
  4. Appointment of Deputies under the Mental Capacity Act
  5. Revocation of a Lasting Power of Attorney
  6. Mental capacity assessment for LPAs and wills
Setting Up a Trust
  1. What is a Trust? Trust Law in Singapore
  2. Setting Up a Discretionary Living Trust in Singapore
Distribution of Estate Assets
  1. What should I do with a deceased relative’s will? How is a will executed?
  2. What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Singapore?
  3. How do I contest a will?
  4. Wills, Probate, and Executors: What to do when a loved one passes away in Singapore
  5. Letters of Administration - Intestacy law in Singapore
  6. Maintenance of Dependants Not Reasonably Provided for Upon Deceased's Death
  7. Applying for a Grant of Probate in Singapore
  8. Can a half-brother be considered a next of kin? (when distributing the assets of the deceased)
  9. What happens to property when a deceased’s next-of-kin or named personal representative is uncontactable?
  10. Obtaining a Fresh Grant of Probate and Resealing a Foreign Grant of Probate
  11. What happens to residuary property not accounted for?
  12. What happens to a Singapore expatriate's assets when he passes on?
  13. How to access the bank account of a deceased spouse?
  14. What happens to my assets overseas when I pass on?
  15. What Happens to the HDB Flat When One Owner Passes Away?
  16. Simultaneous Death: How are Assets Distributed When Family Members Die at the Same Time?
  17. What to Do if You Cannot Find Your Deceased Relative's Will