Contesting a will isn't a pleasant task, but it may be necessary to ensure that the deceased's wishes are fulfilled. When someone passes away without making their wishes explicitly clear, or if there are questions regarding the legality of the will and its contents, it may be prudent to hire a probate attorney to help contest the will. This article discusses three instances when it may be wise to challenge a will:
In some cases, a will may be challenged due to fraudulent representation. This occurs when someone in the family, knowingly or unknowingly, makes false claims about the validity of a will. For example, if someone tries to pass off an old version of a will as the most recent one, this may be considered fraudulent representation. Additionally, if a family member or other individual says that the deceased intended to make changes to the will but didn't have time, this may also be considered fraudulent representation. In such cases, a probate attorney can investigate the matter and determine whether or not the will is valid. If they discover there's fraud, they'll build a case against those responsible through a civil suit. This may make the court nullify the will.
If a testator (the person who created the will) was put under pressure, either physical or emotional, by another person with the intention of gaining something from it, this might be considered an undue influence. Undue influence may also include using blackmail or psychological manipulation to get what one wants out of the estate. A probate attorney can help you prove that undue influence took place when the will was being written. They'll examine the circumstances under which the testament was developed and show that the estate owner was coerced.
The law requires that wills be created and signed under specific circumstances to be legally valid. If there is any suspicion of improper execution, such as missing witnesses or signatures, contact a probate attorney as soon as possible. These professionals will prove the document isn't valid through legal precedent and expert testimony.
If you believe that any of these three scenarios have occurred when creating or signing off on a will, contact a probate attorney in your area to help you contest it. This way, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your case is being handled by an experienced professional who knows exactly what needs to be done to ensure your legal challenge stands up in court.