Minnesota Legal Blog

Who can challenge a will during probate?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2022 | Estate Planning |

After the passing of a loved one, you will likely attend a probate court that oversees the verification of the deceased’s will and the distribution of their estate. During this process, issues may come to light that give you cause to challenge the will.

As one example, you might feel as if you are wrongly left out of the will while your siblings or other family members stand to inherit everything. Should you wish to challenge the will in such an event, it is important for you to understand who actually has the right to challenge the will during probate and how to do so.

Can you contest a will in probate?

Only those considered interested parties in regard to the will may challenge the document’s validity. This includes individuals named in the will, individuals who can prove that they should be in the will and individuals who would otherwise receive something of value from the deceased in the absence of a will. If you are not an heir or beneficiary with such standing, then the probate court will not recognize your challenge.

How can you successfully contest a will?

Minnesota legal statutes on testacy proceedings describe the burden you bear when contesting a will. If you issue a challenge during probate, you must prove a lack of testamentary capacity in the deceased at the time of writing a will. Fraud, undue influence, duress and provable mistakes can also validate your challenge.

Any party who stands to benefit from the terms of a will has the right to challenge it. This prevents outside parties and unintended beneficiaries from attempting to claim what is not theirs by right.