Au Revoir, Will Contests: Comparative Lessons for Preventing Will Contests

25 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2013 Last revised: 4 Jan 2016

Margaret Ryznar

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Angelique Devaux

CHEUVREUX NOTAIRES; French Licensed Attorney (Diplômée Notaire), LL.M American Law (Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law)

Date Written: March 8, 2013

Abstract

American probate law has not yet managed to prevent will contests and not every will executed will be ultimately upheld. The most common grounds for will contests are undue influence, testamentary capacity, and fraud. These will contests have significant costs, which include failing to give effect to testator’s intent and high litigation and decision costs. In fact, the most significant challenge that exists in American probate law today is the frequent inability to honor testamentary intent due to will contests brought by disgruntled relatives. On the other hand, a legal system that has nearly eliminated will contests on the grounds of undue influence and fraud is in France. This Article seeks to extract lessons from the French probate system to minimize will contests in the United States.

Keywords: Comparative Law, Wills, Trusts & Estates, Estates, Probate, Will Contests, Undue Influence, Fraud, Execution Formalities, Testamentary Capacity, Notaire, French Civil Code

Suggested Citation

Ryznar, Margaret and Devaux, Angelique, Au Revoir, Will Contests: Comparative Lessons for Preventing Will Contests (March 8, 2013). Nevada Law Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 1-24, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2230248 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2230248

Margaret Ryznar (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

Angelique Devaux

CHEUVREUX NOTAIRES ( email )

55 Boulevard Haussmann
Paris, 75008
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.cheuvreux-notaires.fr/

French Licensed Attorney (Diplômée Notaire), LL.M American Law (Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law) ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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