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Challenging a registered Will

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29 July 2009

One of an elder sister of my mother who is unmarried demised (on her 70’s) some weeks before. One week before her demise she registered her Will on her property, putting me and my sister as the equal and only heirs of her property. It was an “in house registration” because of her partial paralysis to walk to the registration office. Now her (deceased) brother’s sons are indenting to challenge the will enforcing the undue influence.

In fact there was an older registered Will (on 1976) of her stating the same matter in it also. My mother and the above said her elder sister is living together in a house for the last 60 years in their birth town. One year before the old ladies registered a deed of settlement on the name of us (me & my sister) for the purpose of a construction of a building in their property. But we could not start construction procedure because of a financial crisis.
After 4 months she cancelled the settlement deed to make the property on her name again. We didn’t deny her. But we exchanged our fear about the validity of the previous Will after this cancellation of the deed. Then she agreed to make a new Will and then it registered.
But after her demise the above said brother’s sons argued that cancellation of the deed itself shows her unwillingness to make a Will on our name. They have taken this as their basic ground for their contest of undue influence.
I want to know, will this argument stand on the court? Will this affect the validity of the Will? If the Will void, is there a chance to the deceased brothers sons and daughters of an unmarried Hindu woman come to as class 2nd heirs in “Marumakkathayam”?

Y V Vishweshwar Rao Online (Expert)
29 July 2009

To the extent of Will Deed - if all the events and facts mentioned by you are correct and can be proved - the contention of your opponent/s may not stand in the Court in a suit !

charudureja (Expert)
29 July 2009

Well the last will prevails all other previously made wills. though the brothers son can challenge it but if u prove that she was in her right mind whn she made the will thn their contention will fail.

n.k.sarin (Expert)
30 July 2009

Mr. jayan, I agree with the opinion of Ms. Charudureja.But the circumstances as you described in your Query create doubt so heavy burden lie on you to prove the genuineness of the will beyond doubt,which is not easy.

A.R.Jayan (Querist)
30 July 2009

I am very glad to brief some more about the situation.The government official Registrar himself witnessed and repeatedly ask her about the content of the Will and whether she willfully ready to sign the will in front of 2 other witness who signed in it. She obviously said "yes" and signed with thumb impression. But she was partially paralyzed and physically weak. Eventually she was undergoing a medical treatment in her house. This circumstances converted by our opponents up to the extend that she was in a state of unconsciousness and we forcefully made the sign and thumb impression. Can we prove our innocents

n.k.sarin (Expert)
31 July 2009

Mr.jayan In these circumstances witness of a Doctor, under whom she was getting treatment is a most important witness and through the said doctor you can prove that she was in a right state of mind till her death.Other two attesting witness can also play important role.

Y V Vishweshwar Rao Online (Expert)
01 August 2009

Mr Sarin correctly suggested! The Will has to be proved by those witnesseses mentioned abvove /Doctor and Attestors and the Registrar can aslo be examined to prove the execuition will deed and state of mind of Testator !

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