Nikhil SHETTY 14 February 2021
Nandini Warrier 15 February 2021
There are various grounds on which an adult, or a person above the age of 18 can challenge the validity of a Will. A Will refers to the document that will ensure that your property or assets are passed down to your heirs legally, as you like it to be distributed. Such a document must be created with a clear, sound and uninfluenced state of mind. To ensure that the testator (or the creator of the Will), while making the Will, is in his right state of mind, there must be two witnesses, witnessing the process of the testator writing the Will, and also knowing the contents of the Will. The witnesses will also sign in the Will, to attest to the fact that they are sure about the testator's state of mind.
a) If the witnesses aren't present, that will make the Will invalid, since there is no one to attest to the sound state of mind of person.
b) any Will written by a person with a mental disability of dementia, old age (senility), ot insanity will be considered as invalid.
c) any Will that has been made by coercion, any kind of influence ( person influencing testator, or alcoholic or drug influence) or if the Will has been made of out force, it will be invalid. This includes fraud, forgery, lack of mental capacity.
Such instances help the court decide if the Will is genuine or not. There are certain testamentary intentions in a Will. If a Will doesn't contain those intentions, and the words are against such intentions, it will help the courts understand the genuineness of the Will.
Signatures and thumb prints of the testator and witnesses are also important, without which the Will can be considered invalid.
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Hope this helps!
Sankaranarayanan (Advocate) 29 April 2021
Based on the submission of documents and evidence with merits