How do you prove your case? If you are trying to invalidate a Trust or Will, you have the burden of proof, which is the legal obligation to prove your allegations in court. You must come to court with admissible evidence.
Not all evidence is admissible in court. Certain types of evidence are inadmissible, which means they cannot be used during trial as evidence. For example, information that is not relevant to the case or improperly obtained may be inadmissible.
One of the most common types of inadmissible evidence is hearsay. Hearsay is any out-of-court statement that’s being used at trial as evidence. The purpose of excluding hearsay evidence is to prevent second-hand statements made outside of court from being used to prove facts because second-hand statements are often unreliable. For example, if you heard someone say the decedent looked confused when he signed the Will, but you weren’t there to see that confusion for yourself, you generally cannot testify to what you heard in court.
How can a estate lawyer help?
There are exceptions to the Rules of Evidence that exclude hearsay. Your lawyer will help you figure out which evidence will likely be admissible and whether there are any exceptions.
Every piece of evidence you present, whether it’s a document or a witness, must follow the Rules of Evidence. If you aren’t a lawyer, trial can be tricky. It takes a lot of preparation. You need to know how to get your evidence admitted and how to block bad evidence from the opposing party.
Before you decide to file a Petition to Invalidate a Trust or Will, think about the evidence you have to prove your case. Is it enough to persuade a judge to rule in your favor?