If a relative of yours passes away and leaves you something in their will, however you think that person did not have the legal capacity to make a will in the first place– that you do not believe that the deceased understood who their household and good friends were and what he or she had in general in assets which he or she knew that the document that was being signed was their will– then don’t accept the bequest in that will, if you are planning to contest it.
If that will was stated by the court as not being valid, you may be included in another will at a larger share or you might be the sole heir of the deceased who has no prior will. Maybe, the deceased informed you that he or she was leaving a larger share to you. For any of these reasons, you may determine that you will contest the will.
Of course, we are not promoting that people contest their relative’s wills, but there are times where a caretaker may be noted in the last will of the deceased, at a time when the relative knows that the deceased did not understand who they were, what year it was, or where they were. In that situation, it may be appropriate to file a will contest.
If you choose that you wish to submit a will object to, it is very important that you decline a bequest made in the will that you are objecting to. If you choose to accept such bequest and then defend your additional share, the court might determine that you elected to take the bequest under the will and your case will be dismissed. This is known in legal parlance as the teaching of “election” in which the recipient can not at the same time accept benefits provided by a will while setting up claims contrary to the document itself. For example, a decedent left her estate to her making it through kid and left only a small total up to the kids of another departed child. Those grandchildren accepted their bequest and then submitted fit to challenge the validity of the will. The will contest was dismissed, due to the election of the grandchildren in accepting the gift.
In another case, the enduring partner of the decedent can remain in the household house as long as she wished. As she had a prenuptial contract, this was her only benefit. She submitted a will contest, declaring that her hubby did not have the legal capability to make the will and that the prenuptial contract was not legitimate due to the lack of disclosure. The enduring partner remained in the house during the pendency of the will object to. As an outcome, the court dismissed her suit, mentioning that she elected to take the advantages under the will.
The amount of the bequest, even if it is personal effects, is not pertinent. If you accept the bequest, you have actually elected to take under the will and will be precluded from maintaining your will contest lawsuit, despite the fact that a prior will supplied you with a substantial legacy. No Illinois courts have applied this doctrine to trusts, there is every indicator that the courts would do so.
The bottom line is if you mean to file a will object to, decline the bequest.