Understanding Partial Invalidation of a Will

Posted by Phineas Gray on February, 2018

In most cases, courts do not like to revoke a will of a testator. They will only do so if there is legitimate evidence that another existing will revokes an older one, the testator lacked capacity as a testator, or the will was signed under duress.

These situations can be brought up within six months of the will being admitted into probate. It also can be filed only by an individual with a direct interest that might be impacted in a negative way if the will goes through probate as it stands.

After this occurs, the court can revoke the will, either entirely or as a part. Partial revocation signifies that certain parts of the will are invalidated while the rest is left as is. It can be difficult in these situations to determine what asset is granted to which beneficiary. That’s why talking to a Buffalo Groves wills lawyer is an excellent option.

Testator’s Intent and Partial Invalidation

When only part of the will is invalidated, other provisions may be enforced. This is true only in cases there the invalid sections are able to be separated from the rest of the will without defeating the testator’s intent or destroying the testamentary scheme.

As an example, if it’s found that the contested parts of the will were placed fraudulently by a third party, the court could choose to invalidate only those portions, leaving the rest in place. Because of this, a key question the courts will ask during a will contest is whether:

  • If the testator would have intended for the will to fail if the provision was invalidated.
  • If the undue fraud or influence affected only part of the will.

If the court concludes that the rest of the will can’t be enforced without defeating the testator’s intentions or cannot determine what portions were related to fraud, the entire will can be expected to be invalidated.

Speak with a Buffalo Grove Wills Lawyer

Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd., Attorney’s at Law offer professional knowledge about will invalidation. We can provide you with the information you need to go forward. If you are located in Glenview, Skokie, Evanston, or nearby areas and are the beneficiary of a will that is believed to be fully or partially invalid, we would be happy to set you up with a free consultation. You can reach us by phone at 847-686-2445.

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