You can contest the validity of a will in Oregon if you have a legal reason and a connection to the estate such as being an heir of the deceased person. Three different reasons, all found under Section 113.075 of the Oregon Code, exist for legitimate will contests: You must prove the will is ineffective, another will exists or the testator -- the person to whom the will belongs -- made promises about the will he did not keep. A will may be found as ineffective in Oregon if the testator was mentally incompetent at the time of execution, unduly pressured about the will, or if fraud and mistakes were committed during the will's drafting and signing. You may contest a will as soon as you learn of its existence, terms, or the initiation of probate proceedings, which is the legal process used to validate a will and settle an estate.
Gather proof of the basis for your contest. Locate correspondence and documentation of promises made by the testator about her will. If you are claiming that the testator was mentally incompetent when she created her will, get proof of any debilitating conditions the testator had at the time the will was made. Contact the testator's physician for a statement regarding her health at the time of the will's signing. Verify the physician's statement includes the date of any examination or diagnosis; Oregon law requires you prove the existence of relevant physical and mental conditions at the time of the will's execution.
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Locate the other will if one exists. Check the places in the deceased person's home where important papers were kept. Contact the Oregon probate court with jurisdiction over where the testator lived to check if another will was filed for safekeeping.
Talk to witnesses who can offer testimony to help your case; Ohio laws allow witnesses to testify in court during the contest hearings. Verify that the information each witness has is relevant and supports your contest. Inform the witnesses you are pursing the contest in court so each person is prepared.
File the petition to contest the will in the Oregon probate court where proceedings are being held. Obtain the forms from the court clerk. As of 2010, you must file the petition within the deadline set by the court, which is no later than four months after you received notice of the will or information about the will such as a probate notice.
Notify your witnesses of the court hearing dates and times. The witnesses must attend the hearing to supply testimony.
Attend all Oregon court hearings. Bring all your evidence for the will contest to court.
Contact an attorney if you are uncertain about any aspects of contesting a will in Oregon.
Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.