With evidence invalidating
In such cases, proof of a person’s medical condition is often critical.
Testimony from persons that are well acquainted with decedent is also essential.
Anyone contesting a will on grounds of lack of capacity has the burden of proving that the deceased was not of sound mind.
The proof must relate to a time at or near the signing of the will since the will may only be invalidated if it is proven that the person lacked testamentary capacity at the time the will was signed.
Testamentary capacity is defined as “the mental ability to know and remember who are the natural objects of one’s bounty, to comprehend the kind and character of one’s property, and to make a disposition of the property according to some plan formed in one’s mind”.
Undue influence can be exerted by direct beneficiaries or by third parties, such as the spouse of a beneficiary.
In Illinois, a person adversely affected by the will of a deceased person may contest the validity of that will.
Any claim contesting a will must be filed within 6 months after the court enters an order which admits the will to probate.
Once the presumption of undue influence is made by the court, the burden falls on the person who allegedly exercised undue influence to prove that the will was not a result of undue influence.
Lack of testamentary capacity is another common ground for invalidating a will.
This is a huge hurdle when the claim is based upon promises made by the decedent to the person contesting the will.