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Requirements for a will contest

In order to qualify as a will contest under California Probate Code section 21311(a)(1) the contest must be direct. A direct contest is one "that alleges the invalidity of a protected instrument" a protected instrument is defined as the instrument that contains the no contest clause or an instrument that is in existence on the date that the instrument containing the no contest clause is executed and is expressly identified in the no contest clause, either individindividually or as part of the identifiable class of instruments." (California Probate Code section 21310(e)).
This means a direct contest could occur when someone contests another instrument that is "expressly identified." For example, if a person states in their will that the no contest clause applies to "all beneficiary designations in my life insurance policies, IRA accounts etc" than a direct contest may occur that is related to a beneficiary dispute of the life insurance policy. If you are considering contesting a will or if you are in the middle of a will contest you should retain a California probate lawyer who is up to date with the current changes in the California Probate Code.

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