Nine of the nieces and nephews contested the will, claiming lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence by the Ramls, and improper execution. Should the court admit the will to probate? Explain.

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Nine of the nieces and nephews contested the will, claiming lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence by the Ramls, and improper execution. Should the court admit the will to probate? Explain.

John Hobelsberger lived alone on his farm near Kranzburg, South Dakota. A grandniece, Phyllis Raml, and her husband, Ralph, lived on and operated a farm about two miles away. Hobelsberger and the Ramls had a friendly and cordial relationship. The Ramls visited him rather frequently and largely cared for him during his later years. Hobelsberger was hospitalized on October 23, and his condition was diagnosed as intermittent cerebral insufficiency. During his hospitalization, he requested that the Ramls send an attorney to see him about the preparation of a will. Thomas Green, an attorney, interviewed the testator on or about November 10 and prepared a will in compliance with his instructions. Hobelsberger was transferred to a nursing home on November 19. On November 22, Green and a secretary went to the nursing home and witnessed his signing of the will. Hobelsberger was then eighty years old. He subscribed the will with a mark because he was having trouble with his hands. Hobelsberger died on July 19 of the following year, survived by twenty-seven nieces and nephews and seven grandnieces and grandnephews. The will, after providing for the payment of debts and funeral expenses, left Hobelsberger’s entire estate to Phyllis Raml. Nine of the nieces and nephews contested the will, claiming lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence by the Ramls, and improper execution. Should the court admit the will to probate? Explain.

Answer & Explanation (1)

Explanation

The arguments made by the contestants of the will are not right because of the following reasons:
 

There is the presence of evidence that the will was signed by Individual J when Individual J was of sound mind and acknowledged the terms. The medical staff can prove this fact in front of the court.
The property under the will was transferred by Individual J with fair choice; Individual R had not put any kind of legal pressure on Individual J.
There is no evidence to show that Individual J was able to write at the time of the formation of the will. So, certifying with the mark is correct.

Verified Answer

The court is not bound to change the will executed by Individual J and the contention of the other relatives is not correct because of the following reasons:
 

The will was executed when Individual J had a sound mind.
The will was executed by Individual J without having any illegal pressure or undue influence by Individual R.
The will was executed by Individual J by using the mark is correct because at the time of the formation of the will, Individual J was not able to write.

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