Will Challenges

What is a Will Caveat? This is also known as a Will Contest or Challenging a Last Will & Testament.

These are superior court cases in North Carolina. It is a lawsuit where persons are challenging the validity of the Last Will & Testament that was probated in the Clerk’s Estate Division. Once the Will Contest is filed, the estates clerk will execute an order stopping the estate proceeding and transfer the case to the Superior Court of that county. The parties align themselves with either the caveator (the challenger) or the propounder (the defender) of the probated document purporting to be the Last Will & Testament.

Common questions:

  • Are you questioning the mental competency of a Testator when a Will was made?
    • For example, did the testator have dementia? On high level pain medication?
  • Do you think a Last Will & Testament was executed with Undue Influence?
    • For example, was the Testator secluded by the will’s beneficiary? In a weakened physical or mental state? Did the beneficiary exert influence over the testator?
  • If so, were you a beneficiary of an older will but now are left out?
  • Or,¬†If the probated “will” is not valid would you inherit via the intestacy laws of North Carolina?
    • For example, you were a child, spouse, or parent of the deceased.
  • Is a Will being challenged and you think it was done properly?
  • Was the will drafted by an attorney? Was it downloaded by a legal website or homemade?

Last Wills & Testaments are important documents that allow a person to distribute their assets at their death. Many times there are issues concerning the validity of the will based on the legality of the document, capacity or competency of the testator (maker of the will), or undue influence by another on the testator.

NC Estate Litigation Attorney, Kirk Sanders, is a licensed North Carolina attorney who has represented caveators (challengers) of Will Contests, propounders (defenders) of wills, and clients involved in Estate Litigation matters. Representation includes Elective Share Petitions for disinherited surviving spouses, trust disputes, and petitions to compel production of a will. The attorneys at Hendrick Bryant have handled numerous will contests cases, including challenges to capacity, undue influence, even a sham will case. We are will contests attorneys in North Carolina.

If you have a question about a Last Will & Testament or an estate proceeding. Call Kirk Sanders at 336-768-1515 to discuss your case.

What is a Will Caveat?
Why challenge a Will?
What are grounds for challenging a Will?
Who may contest the Will? Someone who would have inherited under a prior will or by the North Carolina Intestate Succession laws.

Testamentary Capacity: Did the testator have the mental or physical ability to make the will & know the bounty of his or her inheritance?
Undue Influence: Did the beneficiary of the questionable will exert influence on a susceptible and physically and/or mentally weak person?
Failure of Execution: Was the Will executed in a manner that it satisfies the statutory requirements for execution of a Last Will & Testament?

Fraud: Was the Will executed by fraud? By fraudulent inducement?
Sham Will: Was the document even truly made by the deceased? Is it a fake will? A forgery?

Kirk Sanders
Call (336) 768-1515

NC Estate Litigation Attorney, Kirk Sanders