How to challenge a will in the Indian court of law.


challenge a Will , nrihelpinfo

A will or testament is a legal document which says the wishes of the testator as to how his/her property and land be distributed at or after the death. The Will also declare the names of one or more individuals, the executor, to manage the property and land until its final distribution.

Who can challenge a will?

A person who believes that he/she is denied sufficient benefit under a Will even when he/she fits specific criteria, that person can contest the will.

How one can contest the Will?

There are various ways under which one can challenge a Will in an Indian court of law. They are: –

  1. The Family Protection Act, 1955.
  2. The Property (Relationships) Act, 1976.
  3. The Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act, 1949.
  4. By challenging the legal validity of the will or testament.
  • If he/she is a close relative and is not given for accordingly as a person should, then the will or testament can be challenged under family protection act in the High Court or Family Court. This law of 1955 allows wife or husband, or civil union or de facto partner (including a same-sex partner), grandchild, child, dependent step-child, parent, if reliant on the deceased or if no spouse, partner or offspring of the deceased person living to apply to the Indian Court.
  • The Indian court will uphold the claim if it depicts that the deceased failed to fulfil his/her moral duty to render appropriately for the maintenance as well as the support of the family members.
  • If the late promised to involve a person in the will in return for services provided to him, then one can challenge a will under the reform Act or testamentary promises act.
  • If a person is a wife or husband of the deceased, or had a civil union or was a de facto relationship partner, then he or she is qualified to have the land and property of the relationship distributed under the equal-sharing rules as per the Relationship Act or Property Act.
  • Even though you are not a close relative, you may be able to bring a claim under this law. Nevertheless, one needs to present satisfactory proof of the promise which can sometimes be tough. Evidence can be oral or written.

The PROPERTY (RELATIONSHIPS), ACT 1976 says that the civil union or the legal spouse or de facto partner (inclusive of a same-sex partner) of a deceased person can legally contest a Will as per the equal-sharing rules of this Act for his/her share.

Moreover, one can also challenge the legal validity of the will if one has proof that:

  1. The testator/deceased person was of unsound mind or was psychologically incapacitated when he/she signed the will.
  2. The deceased person was not aware of and approved the will’s contents when he/she signed it.
  3. The will was not duly signed as well as witnessed.
  4. The deceased or the testator was under “undue influence” when he/she approved the will.

If the trial is successful, then former will comes into force. However, if there is no earlier will then the departed are declared to have died “intestate” which implies without leaving a valid will, and the law next dictates how the deceased’s assets are divided.

A lawyer can advise you about the merits of challenge a will in the Indian court of law and will make sure that the disputed property won’t be distributed under the will till your claim is resolved or the time limit for bringing the claim has passed.

A professional lawyer will also inform you of how the validity of the will is concerned if the testator separated, divorced or remarried after making the will.

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How to challenge a will in the Indian court of law.

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