March 11, 2021
The National Law Review
The importance of carefully drafting a will or a trust with competent counsel is underscored by the narrow circumstances in which a court will correct mistakes that may exist in a will or a trust. Various types of mistakes are treated differently by the courts, and the court’s treatment varies widely across different jurisdictions.
A mistake in the inducement occurs when the person making a will (the Testatrix or Testator) misunderstands a relevant fact or law, leading them to make a bequest they would not have made if they knew the truth. Some states hold that a mistake in the inducement is not a sufficient ground for modifying or invalidating a will, while other states allow correction of mistakes in the inducement regarding wills only in limited circumstances, such as where the will itself states the mistake and what the Testator would have done had he not been mistaken.
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