Legal Tips for Fighting Over an Estate

Imagine: the executor is reading a will and listing off the property that you will inherit. As you listen to the implications, it hits you- something is not right. There is something wrong with the way that property is being divided; it isn't how your loved one would have wanted it.

Maybe you heard your loved one talk about his or her will, and you know that you were supposed to receive assets that are being given to a charity or another family member. If you suspect foul play in the will, then you may want to fight the will by contesting it in court. This is a serious undertaking, but it can be profitable in the end if you are able to prove that your loved one was forced to recreate his or her will or if he or she made a final will while not of sound mind.

If you decide to contest a will, you will want to read all documents carefully. Sometimes estate battles can be avoided simply be re-reading the terms of the will or trust. Maybe you missed important points, or failed to connect ideas. Sometimes individuals make more recent wills, and you may be reading a former copy. In this situation, you will want to make sure that you have the most up-to-date will. For example, if you are the youngest child in a family and are not included in the will, it may be because you are looking at an older copy that was created before you were born. Search for a will that is up-to-date and the terms may be more favorable.

Also, if you choose to contest a will you will want to make sure you are aware of your state's inheritance laws. An estate planning attorney can help you with this by providing legal consultation. If a person dies without a will, family members may get part of the estate. Each estate has their own set of laws governing these practices, so it is highly recommended that you figure out what those are right away.

In addition, we recommend that you consider out of court settlements. Fighting over an estate in probate courts may take a while so you may want to consider mediation or arbitration. Both of these processes involve working with a professional who will help you to arrive at satisfactory decisions regarding your case.

If you want to challenge a will, then you will need to look for evidence that your decedent had other intentions. For example, you may want to look for comments about funeral plans or look for e-mails or phone messages that describe your loved one's true intent when it comes to the will.

Lastly, it is imperative that you hire an attorney if you choose to contest a will or desire to challenge it. Contesting a will is a very emotional and sometimes frustrating undertaking. You will want a trusted lawyer on your side to help guide you through the process while making you aware of your legal rights. There may be times that you discover that you are not eligible for inheritance, or that the executor simply made a mistake.

With an estate planning lawyer, you can thoroughly investigate the situation surrounding your will. You may be able to argue that you are entitled to certain assets based on probate laws. Don't hesitate to contact a local team of attorneys. This directory can help you to find a probate or estate planning attorney that is helpful and professional in your case. Search for a local lawyer today!