Do You Want to Contest a Will?

If you desire to contest a will, then you are going to want to get the right attorney on your side to help you. Without the right attorney there to assist you, you may end up unable to get your argument across and being able to contest the will effectively. Anyone who wants to revise a will after an author's death must attempt to establish one of the following legal grounds.

The first is undue influence. It is difficult to prove, but if you can evidence that a deceased person was pressured extensively by others, then you may have a case. For example, if your brother influenced your mother to alter her will so that the majority of the estate went to him, and did so by pressuring her and claiming that she didn't love him unless she did such a thing, then this could be considered undue influence.

The courts do not want to honor any circumstances of undue influence, as they want to be careful to make sure that all wills are drafted fairly. Whenever an outside party influences the drafting of a will, it can be a serious issue. Another reason to contest a will is because of fraud. If the will's author was tricked into signing a will, maybe he or she was told it was a deed or some other legal document and was not aware that it was actually a will then the will will be considered invalid.

Also, if an individual is presented a will to sign, but the conditions of the will have been altered, then this is another reason that the will may be contested in court. If you can be certain that the conditions of the will are not what your loved one would have requested at the time of his or her death, then the accuracy of the document should be called into question.

As well, a will can be contested if you believe that it was improperly executed. For example, if the will was not prepared or executed properly according to the laws of the state, then it can be thrown out in court. This may mean that trusts are not set up correctly or that the estate is not divided properly. Also, if a will maker was not mentally capable of thinking about the issues that could be involved in the will, then it could be considered in invalid.

Typically, if a will-maker has some mental deficiencies then he or she cannot be expected to make wise decisions concerning the future of his or her estate. Oftentimes when it comes to contesting a will, you will need to carefully balance the amount of money you are spending on litigation with the amount of money that you hope to receive. Some heirs will actually lose money over contesting a will because by the time they are done with the litigation they may have spent out more money than they even had.

Also, if you choose to contest a will you will want to look at how it will affect your relationships with others. People who take on a sibling or parent in court may win, but they may damage the relationship with that family member for life. It is best to evaluate all of these costs before going ahead with contesting the will. On the other hand, if you believe that your loved one was a victim of elder abuse before his or her death, then this may be a legitimate claim and you may even want to press criminal charges against the suspect. Learn more about contesting wills be talking with a local probate attorney near you today!