The loss of a family member or close friend brings a great sense
of loss and can create conflict among parties interested in the
estate. Often family members, heirs, creditors, and other third
parties, such as friends, make demands for the same property. As
these claims lead to disputes and result in lawsuits, or Will Contests,
family members may be forced to defend themselves.
Types of Will Contests
In these lawsuits, one or more parties often assert that:
- The Will was invalid. Such a challenge asserts that the purported
Will is, in fact, not a Will at all because it does not meet all
the necessary requirements.
- The testator did not have sufficient capacity to make a Will.
Capacity lawsuits relate to the capacity of the testator; in other
words, it is claimed that the decedent did not understand what
he was doing when he made the Will.
- There was undue influence. A Will contest asserting undue influence
argues that the decedent was somehow coerced into making the Will
or certain gifts under the influence of another person against
his own wishes.
- The executor is not qualified to serve. Often one family member
does not trust another family member to be the person in charge
of settling the decedents estate fairly or according to
Disputes are not limited to family and creditors. For example,
third parties, including friends, can present documents to support
an allegation that they are entitled to receive certain property
of the estate.
Lawsuits related to a decedent's Will generally have the unfortunate
effect of pulling family members apart at a difficult time. However,
such lawsuits are sometimes necessary to protect an individual's
interest in the deceased family member's estate.
We understand that these contests can be emotionally difficult.
It is this Firm's goal to provide information to you so that you
gain an understanding of the process. We attempt to make the process
as speedy and simple as possible, although we cannot control other
parties to the litigation or their activities. Our fundamental goal
is to meet your objectives and protect your interests and help you
secure your inheritance.
If you anticipate becoming involved in probate litigation, contact
us to discuss your case.