My uncle’s will has left me $8,000. But, he had aslo promised me to leave me his BMW.his prized horse Philly. His Will states that if anyone contest the will, he will lose his share. Can I contest my uncle’s will?

Full Question:

My uncle was unmarried, and lived alone. I was his most beloved nephew. I used to spend holidays with him, and he often took me to his ranch. He has told several times that he’ll be leaving his favorite horse, Philly, to me. He also knew of my love of cars and told me on several occasions that he would leave me his BMW. In fact he told me this in front of some other family members. My uncle was mostly confined to the bed following an accident for a few months, and was looked after by a care taker until his death. Now, I’ve learnt that my uncle has left BMW and Philly to the care taker. His will has a clause pointing to forfeiture upon contesting. Can I contest my uncle’s will?
11/09/2016   |   Category: Wills and Es... » Will Contests   |   State: ALL   |   #26474


Contesting a will is generally difficult, and the courts always respect the testator’s choice of distributing his/her assets. So, most states except Indiana, and Florida allow no contest clauses in will.
However, most of the states that allow a no contest clause provide limitations also. If the court finds a probable cause, or good faith in challenging the will, the court may consider the clause unenforceable. Undue influence, or lack of testamentary capacity are some of the reasons which courts consider in deciding the enforceability of a no contest clause.
Thus, if your uncle happened to reside in Florida, or Indiana, you may contest the will despite the no contest clause, because the clause is not enforceable in those states. Most of the states, except the above mentioned two, permit you to contest the will for probable cause or good faith. Therefore, to determine whether you would be able to challenge the will, the state law should be considered.