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March 17, 2013

WSLL Recommends: Will Contests

Will Contests, by Eunice L. Ross and Thomas J. Reid, is a single volume treatise that delves into the "strange hybrid form of litigation" (Ross, 1-3) that is a will contest. 

The first ten chapters cover substantive issues such as 
  • historical background, 
  • testamentary capacity, 
  • undue influence, 
  • other grounds for a will contest, 
  • multi-party bank accounts as a lifetime transfer instrument. 
The next phase of the book gets into practical considerations for bringing, or defending, a will contest. Pretrial planning techniques and pleadings, discovery and evidence, trial and post-trial practice are all supported by the additional content in the appendices. While the appendices provide helpful practice guides like complaints from 20 jurisdictions, interview checklists, and pattern jury instructions, the supplementary materials are based on a sensational fictional premise. This treatise comprehensively covers all facets of contested wills but does so in a playful sort of way, a throwback to your days in law school when professors invented creative scenarios to test your intellect.

Will Contests, last supplemented in October 2012 and updated annually, is available for check out from the Wisconsin State Law Library location.