Navigating the Waters of Contested Wills in California

A Will needs to be precise since issues can arise from ambiguity. A Will must also be correctly executed in order to avoid creating a situation where it could be contested in probate court. A Will may also be contested after the testator has passed away if there are multiple Wills as a result of earlier ones not being properly canceled.

Will challenges consume a lot of resources, especially money and time. A challenge to Will’s validity, meaning, or intent may occasionally not be valid, but it may also be valid and worthy. Barr & Young Attorneys will assist you in determining whether you can successfully contest a Will and, if so, how to do so. Wills’s attorney will make sure you comprehend how a Will might be correctly prepared to prevent contests if you are the testator.


A person’s Will is made available for probate when they pass away. It is the task of the Will proponent, the person claiming the validity of the Will, to demonstrate that it was properly executed. The onus of proof transfers to the competitor, often referred to as the caveator, when the validity of the Will is contested. What is referred to as a Will contest is the solution to the problem.


A potential challenger of a Will must have a good legal justification for doing so. Among the reasons for contesting a will are:

  • Ambiguous provisions exist;
  • A new Will exists;
  • The Will was revoked;
  • Undue fraud, influence, or duress affected the testator’s decisions in the will;
  • The testator’s claim that he or she suffered from insane delusion, which occurs when the testator believes what they are saying is true but is not;
  • The testator lacked the necessary mental capacity to write a will;
  • The claim that the testator was under duress;

The burden of proof rests with the party contesting the Will when doing so.


No-contest clauses, commonly referred to as no-contest “in terrorem” clauses, are found in many wills. While they may not entirely bar challenges, they do deprive beneficiaries of their share of the estate if they file a challenge and lose their case in court. These clauses are frequently used by testators to stave off challenges.

To challenge a Will, please contact a california contested wills attorney.

News Reporter