Confronting And Resolving Will Contests
A well-constructed will can prevent a will contest in most cases. However, human factors such as allegations of undue influence on the person who created the will can open the door to legal challenges after a death.
Are You Interested In Contesting A Will Or Defending One?
You may be an executor administering the estate of a loved one and encountering obstacles when a creditor, a beneficiary or a would-be beneficiary challenges the will. A family member may claim that you persuaded the person who died to create a new will or revise his or her will through inappropriate pressure.
Alternatively, you may be on the other side of the equation: You believe someone improperly influenced your deceased parent or other family member or friend, with the result that the assets you should have inherited from the estate plan are greatly diminished. Perhaps your family member cut you out of the will altogether, and you believe her or she was not mentally competent to make clear decisions when that happened.
An Example Of A Situation Leading To A Will Contest
Will contests are often a result of different roles that adult children play in the lives of aging parents. The child who remains physically close and directly involved with an older mother or father may not be the most financially savvy. The aging parent may help this nearby child financially in consideration of personal help provided by him or her.
Meanwhile, a child or children out of town may have reason to believe the one in town is exploiting the parent’s generosity, including coercing him or her to change the will under questionable circumstances. This is just one of numerous scenarios that lead to will contests.
Other Complications That May Open The Door To A Will Contest
Were there two wills for your mother or father? Is it unclear which is legally binding? Does someone allege that your deceased parent or other family member lacked the mental capacity to create or modify a will? Is the will contest in front of you a battle between a second spouse and children of a first marriage?
Whatever the facts and whatever your position in a will contest or a potential will contest, The Law Offices of Jeffrey T. Vanderveen is here to help. I am attorney Jeffrey T. Vanderveen, a probate litigation lawyer with ample experience and in-depth knowledge relevant to your legal problem. I can review your case, advise you of your rights and help you pursue the legal remedy most likely to bring about the best result attainable in your favor. I will let you know which grounds for a will contest apply in your case — or don’t apply.
It May Be Self-Defeating To Bring A Will Contest, Even If It Seems Fair
Your deceased family member’s will may contain language that would bar you from receiving your fair share if you bring a will contest. This is one of many variables that require individualized analysis. Please bring the will in question to your initial consultation if possible.