If you disagree with provisions of a Will, you must have “standing” to file a petition with the Court to object or to oppose an objection. “Standing” means that you are someone who has the right to bring a petition to the court. California law states that you must be an “interested person.” This means that you would either benefit from the Will or have lost a benefit because of the terms of the Will.
Interested persons can include heirs at law, a beneficiary under a prior Will, a beneficiary under a destroyed Will, an Executor, and a personal representative of the estate.
An heir can include a child, spouse, other relative, creditor, beneficiary, and any one else having a claim against the estate.
One way to contest a Will is if the maker of the Will did not have “testamentary capacity.” Probate Code section 6100.5 indicates that a person does not have testamentary capacity if:
They do not have sufficient mental capacity to be able to do any of the following:
- Understand the nature of the Will
- Understand and remember the nature and situation of their property.
- Remember and understand their relationship to living descendants, spouse, and parents, and those whose interests are affected by the Will.
They suffer from a mental health disorder with symptoms including delusions or hallucinations, which result in them giving their property in a manner that they would not have otherwise done.
The timeframe to contest a Will can be quite short, please contact us immediately if you believe that you have a claim to contest a Will.