A person (the testator) determines the ways in which his/her immovable and movable property will be distributed after his/her death through a will. However, in some cases, the inheritors or other individuals may not be satisfied with the stipulations of the testament. Therefore, individuals who are in such a situation should be aware that they contest a will on various legal grounds so they may need a professional legal guidance as contesting a will is a very complicated legal task.
How to contest a will?
First of all, in order to challenge a will, an individual must prove that there is something incorrect with the will or that there is something wrong regarding the conditions under which the will was drafted. In other words, an individual who wishes to contest a will must have a legal basis regarding the way the assets of the testator were distributed or the way in which the will was drafted.
Legal grounds on which a will can be challenged in Cyprus:
- Undue Influence: It is necessary to be proved that the testator drafted the will under an improper pressure or influence of another person. Another case of undue influence is when the testator singed the will without his/her consent due to the influence or pressure of another person.
- Lack of legal capacity to draft a will: It must be proved that the testator did not have the legal capacity to make a will. According to article 23 of the Cyprus Wills and Succession Law (Cap. 195), only adult persons of sound mind have the legal capacity to draft a valid will.
- Invalid wills: It is necessary to be proved that the necessary legal requirements under which the document was signed were not met. A valid will must be signed, dated and witnessed by two adult persons of sound mind. If the document is comprised of more than one page, then every page must have the initials of the testator and witnesses. The final page must be signed by the testator and the witnesses. A valid will must be written in accordance with the provisions of Cap.195.
- Fraud or Mistakes: It is required to be proved that the executor committed a fraud at the moment when the document was signed. Moreover, a will can be challenged in the case that mistakes, such as typing errors, appear in the document.
Challenging a will is a demanding and complex legal procedure. As a result, the assistance of a professional probate lawyer is important. A professional probate lawyer will review thoroughly all the facts provided by you and they will offer you the best possible solution.