If you are planning to contest a Will in Singapore, you should show that the Will is invalid. For instance, the legal requirements and formalities of the Will are not complied with. If you succeed in contesting a Will in Singapore, the assets of the deceased will be distributed according to Section 7 of the Intestate Succession Act.
You may also contest a Will in Singapore if you have evidence to show that the deceased was of unsound mind at the time of the making of the Will.
Alternatively, if you can prove that the deceased was under undue influence at the time of making the Will, you may also be able to put up a successful contest of the Will in Singapore. Undue influence refers to threats, persistent harassment and persuasion or coercion. In general, there is undue influence over the testator (i.e. person making the Will) if someone uses his/ her power over the testator for selfish reasons.
What if the Will Does Not Provide for the Wife or Children?
Under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act, if the Court is of the opinion that the combination of asset division as per the deceased’s Will and by law (under the Intestate Succession Act) does not sufficiently provide for the dependant of the deceased, the Court has the power to make an order for a lump sum (or periodic) maintenance be paid to the dependants. Dependants may include:
1. A spouse.
2. A daughter who has not been married or who is not capable of maintaining herself for reason of physical or mental disability.
3. An infant son.
4. A son is who incapable of maintaining himself because of some physical or mental disability.
Generally, such an application should be taken up within 6 months from which representation of the deceased’s estate is first taken out. The Court may extend the time limitation in special circumstances, such as the discovery of another Will or codicil resulting in a substantial change in the disposition of the deceased’s estate.
What if the Lawyer Preparing the Will Did Not Include Some of the Testator’s Wishes?
In a case like this, the lawyer may be personally liable for negligence to the potential beneficiary. For instance, if the testator specifically requested for S$5,000.00 to be given to person A, but this was not included in the Will, person A may be able to file a law suit against the lawyer.
Who Can Contest a Will in Singapore?
In general, anyone who has a stake in the Will is able to contest the validity of the Will. However, before committing to contest a Will in Singapore, you should seek advice from an experienced probate lawyer in Singapore on whether you have sufficient evidence to invalidate the Will. You may also explore other options such as making an application under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act.
If you decide to contest a Will in Singapore without first finding out the chances of winning and calculating the amount that you may receive, it could be a futile exercise given that the legal fees may outweigh your gains from contesting a Will in Singapore.