A person who feels that he/she is denied sufficient benefit under a Will even when he/she fits certain criteria, that person can challenge the will in Indian Court of law.
Meaning of a Will:
A Will, also known as a testament, is a legal document declaring the wishes of the testator about the way he/she wants his/her assets to be divided at the time of or after their death. A will is the intention of a person as to whom Will he/she be succeeded by.
Can a Registered Will be challenged in the Indian Court?
Yes, a registered Will can be challenged in the Indian court of law. A registered Will, may or may not be the last testament. A newly-made Will not indeed registered, if valid, is going to outplay the registered one. In case there are some kinds of apprehensive facts, the court will review the Will despite the truth of it being registered.
What is the Basis of Contesting a Will – Registered or Unregistered?
A Will can be challenged based on the below-mentioned grounds:
- Suspicious facts
- Lack of execution
- Revocation of a Will
- Unjustified influence
- Lack of testamentary capacity
- Lack of testamentary intentions
- Insufficient knowledge and no approval
How Can an NRI Challenge a Will in the Indian Court?
An NRI can challenge the Will in the court by:
- Filing a legal suit: A case needs to be registered with a relevant seat under the civil court. Every state in India has its own nomenclature of courts wherein the cases concerning the document registration are filed in accordance with the Registration Act’s section 18. All courts in India have their own form number for cases related to registration of instruments.
- Issuing a Vakalatnama: With the help of Vakalatnama, an NRI gives all his authority to an attorney so they can represent him in court on their behalf. There is no tax imposed on Vakalatnama. However, these days the high courts have begun issuing stamp papers of several denominations.
- Paying the required court fee: Every state has its own court fee and that must be funded by the NRI who wants to contest a Will in an Indian court of law.
- Initiating the case and writing the statement: Once your case has been accepted, the Indian court is going to release summon, which issues notice to the opposite party asking them to show up before the court. Before that date, it is a mandate for the defendant to file his written statement. It means that the defendant needs to defend himself on the complaint against him in a time-period of a month from the date the notice was served, or within the timeframe provided by the court. The task of providing proofs is on the NRI who has made the allegation, wherein he needs to prove that the Will is mala fide and fails to truly signify the testator’s intent.
- Filing the documents to support the case: There are a number of documents that one needs to file before the court, such as legal heir certificate etc. And also, the list of all the people acting as a witness must be given to the court.
Useful Tips for NRIs to Challenge a Will in Indian Court of law:
- You will need a strong ground for contesting the Will. By strong ground, it actually indicates that there need to be aspects of coercion, fraudulence, unwarranted influence, scepticism found in the Will.
- Take right measures at the beginning opportunity. As soon as the Will gets implemented in accordance with the clauses mentioned in it, it could be a challenging undertaking for the Indian court to execute or bring about the redistribution of assets. For that reason, if you think that the Will should be contested, take action without delay. Try not to put off for a very long period.
- Seek the advice of a reliable legal advisor or law firm – vakeelno1 is a globally renowned law firm helping resolve NRI cases concerning properties, Litigation, Power of Attorney, Wills, and Financial aspects. Be careful not to rely on any rumor. Seeking a good legal advice is very important in cases like these. Always choose an NRI lawyer after proper research since one incorrect advice can certainly shake the entire ground!
- Generally, a person that has ownership of the property has an upper hand.
If you are looking for someone to help you make a Will or if you want to challenge a Will in the Indian court of law, get in touch with us.