Contesting a will is an arduous and challenging task, especially as you try to balance the grief of losing a loved one. The process of contesting a will can feel like a roller coaster ride, both on legal and emotional grounds. Here are some of the things that you should keep in mind while filing a suit for the contest of will.
4 Tips for Contesting a Will
Here are some tips to keep in mind when contesting a will:
1. Financial Impact
Before you decide to contest a will, the first thing you should consider is your current financial situation and the value of the deceased’s property. Compare this to the financial impact of beginning a legal battle. If you lose the case, will the financial impact of court and attorney fees be a significant burden to handle? The cost of contesting a will can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars with larger estates. Keep this in mind.
2. Consider the Grounds for Contesting a Will
Before you waste your time and money, be sure you have legal grounds for contesting the will. Legal grounds for contesting the will include:
- Coercion– This means that the will has been drafted or signed by the testator under blackmail, duress, or manipulation. You should have evidence of this, such as witnesses, audio, or video proof, before bringing this before the court.
- Lack of Capacity– If you believe the deceased lacked the mental capacity to sign a will, you can file a motion to contest. However, you need to have medical proof that the deceased did not have the mental capacity to make a decision of this magnitude.
- Fraud- Fraud refers to such instances where the deceased was tricked into signing the will by saying that it was a deed, power of attorney, or other legal documents. Fraud can also include instances where a will has been forged. This includes counterfeit copies and fake signatures.
3. File a Court Motion
A motion is a notice that will prevent the court from distributing the assets of the deceased’s estate to heirs and beneficiaries. This alerts the court that you plan to file a lawsuit and temporarily pauses the probate process until the case is brought to court. Before you file your motion, be sure you have clearly considered the grounds for contesting a will.
4. Be Reasonable
Many cases where individuals contest a will have more to do with family rivalries than they do with the matter at hand. While you should always fight for what’s right, be sure you are being reasonable in your request. Litigation can be a headache. Talk to your lawyer before bringing your will contest case forward to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
Contact Ensberg Law Group for a Free Consultation
If you believe you have legal grounds to contest a loved one’s will, we’re here to help. Contact Ensberg Law Group for a free consultation with a knowledgeable Azusa probate lawyer.