Can a judge overrule a will?

Apr 14, 2021 | Estate Planning

During probate, the main job of the court is to ensure the validity of your will and other estate documents. At this time, anyone with interest in your estate can contest your will.

When a will contest occurs, NJ.com explains the judge can overrule your will. He or she will need to have solid evidence that the will is invalid to do so.

Requirements to contest

There is a specific time period during probate when the court is open to hearing a will contest. If you wish to bring an objection, you will need to do so at this time.

The court will require you to provide evidence of your claims. The most common is that the person created the will while not being of sound mind or under duress.

You must benefit from the will in order to contest it. If you are someone who would not receive anything from the estate regardless of the validity of the will, then you have no claim to contest.

Requirements to prove

To prove the case and get the judge to invalidate the will, you must show that the person did not make the decisions of his or her own free will or otherwise show he or she was not competent when creating the document.

You may be able to submit medical documents and witnesses to prove your case. Keep in mind the court is typically hesitant to overrule a will, so the threshold for proving your claim is high

The judge can invalidate the whole document or parts of it. If this occurs, the court will make decisions not covered by the remaining estate documents according to state law.