It may seem like contesting a will is something that happens all the time, but the reality is that there must be a good reason for the court to allow a will contest. The state of Illinois sets the guidelines for when a will can be contested. It is a good idea to understand them. Knowing the grounds can enable you to avoid issues with your own will or ensure a loved one’s will will not be contested.
According to the Illinois Courts, there are five grounds for contesting a will. A will can be completely thrown out or partially invalidated if only a portion is found to be invalid on any of the grounds.
The first ground for contesting is that the person who wrote the will was not aware of its contents. This is referred to as ignorance of contents. It can occur when the person was not able to read through the will or did not have it made clear what was in the will.
The next ground is the will was revoked. You can revoke your will by physically destroying it or by creating a new will.
Fraud is another reason for a will to be contested. If you think the will was not written by the person, then you could try to have it invalidated.
You may also be able to contest if you think the person was unable to understand what was happening when the will was written or signed. This would be proving the person had a lack of testamentary or mental ability to legally sign the document.
Finally, undue influence, where someone tricks the person or forces the person to write the will or included information in a will is the last ground. This information is for education and is not legal advice.