Where a person believes a will or codicil is not valid they can apply to the Probate Registrar of the Supreme Court for citations to be issued to persons interested in that will or codicil.
The persons interested include the executors and beneficiaries named in the later will or codicil.
How can I prove a will is not valid
For example, there may be two or more wills or codicils of a deceased person located, yet the later will is not signed or dated, or is a copy or draft only. There may be other issues as to the Will’s validity; perhaps it has not being executed in accordance with law or was made by a person who didn’t have the necessary mental capacity to make a will (ie. did not have testamentary capacity).
A citation is a document issued by the Probate Registrar that states that a person has been cited (ie. summoned or called) to take note and/or action, and sets out the issues. It also explains what the person cited should do.
Before a person can apply for citations to be issued, they must enter a caveat in the Probate Registry. A caveat requests the Probate Registry not to issue a grant of probate or administration without notifying the person who entered the caveat. It prevents a grant from being obtained until the caveat is withdrawn or removed by the Court.
If the interested persons do not agree with the citation, then they can attempt to prove a later will or the will or codicil in question.
If the interested persons do not respond to the citation or they agree that the later will or the will or codicil in question should not be proved, then the applicant can seek an order that the later will or codicil is invalid.
The purpose of a citation is to make all interested parties aware of an issue. It explains to the parties what the issue is, so that they can take part in the matter or have their say, if desired.
Issuing citations is usually simpler and cheaper than the alternate method of commencing proceedings disputing the validity of a will or codicil.
The process is particularly beneficial where interested persons are aware that a will or codicil has problems or is not valid and therefore will be difficult and costly to prove. The process is even simpler where all interested persons agree that the later will or the will or codicil in question should not be proved.
If you believe a Will of a deceased person is not valid, it is important you seek legal advice as soon as possible. There is more than one way to try to prevent a Will or codicil being proved, and there are various grounds upon which to challenge a Will. Contact one of our wills and estates lawyers now to find out how we can help.