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A will contest is a legal action that challenges the entrance of a will to probate. A will is likely to be contested by those who insist that a person was incapacitated at the time the will was drafted or that the will maker was forced to implement the will. When will is contested, a court determines the validity of the will. If someone files an objection, a will contest takes place. Generally, people who have standing, or the right to challenge the will, are spouses, children and those who have shares in the estate.
Will contests are legal proceedings that challenge the validity of a will and try to stop it from entering probate or distribution. A will may be contested if someone believes that a person was incapacitated at the time he or she drafted the will or if the person was forced into implementing the will. Persons that may have grounds to contest a will are typically children, a spouse, family members, or others that have a share in the estate. They are often heirs of beneficiaries that received little to none out of the will and thus wish to challenge it.
If a person files an objection to a will, a will contest proceeding will take place in a court. Examples of objections may be that the decedent was incapacitated or lacked mental clarity when writing the will, the will was implemented with no witnesses present, the will was fraud, or some type of forgery was involved. It is then up to the courts to determine the validity of the will in question.
Most of the will challenges are by potential heirs of beneficiaries who did not get much or sometimes nothing of the distribution. Typical objections are:
If the possibility of a will contest arises, experienced wills and estate planning lawyers are the right people to see. Wills are important documents therefore having a lawyer to help you draft it is a good thing, even if you do not fear someone challenging it. Keeping the will clear will help you keep expenses down when it comes to probate and also minimize taxes. Lawyers work extra hard when you suspect challenges. They may even videotape the will's execution.
Wills and estate planning lawyers can help both contestants (those contesting the will) and proponents (those defending the will's validity) in any legal proceedings in a will contest. An estate lawyer can help with paperwork, gathering evidence, and proving that the will is invalid in a will contest.
Similarly, a wills and estate planning lawyer can help ensure that a will is valid and cannot be contested. It is important to have an attorney help draft a will so that it is clear and accurate, and thus cannot be challenged in the future. If someone else is contesting the will, a will contest lawyer can help defend your rights and ensure you get the assets owed to you.
If you believe that a will needs to be contested or the will executor is mishandling the will, you need a will contest lawyer to help you protect your rights. Attorney Search Network can find you the right will contest lawyer for you.
If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact us. Call us toll free at (800) 215-1190 or fill out out online form for your Wills and Estate Planning lawyer referral.