Good Fences And Not So Good Neighbors: Property Law 101

Good Fences And Not So Good Neighbors: Property Law 101

How to Contest a Will — Know Your Rights and Take Action

by Hunter Moore

Losing a loved one is hard enough, but it can be even harder when you believe their wishes were not accurately reflected in their last will and testament. Sometimes, the validity of a will is called into question, and heirs or beneficiaries may choose to contest the document. However, the process of contesting a will can be complex and emotionally draining. This blog post will explore the steps you can take to contest a will and ensure that your loved one's wishes are honored.

Understand the Grounds for Contesting a Will

Before embarking on the process of contesting a will, it is imperative to have a comprehensive grasp of the legal grounds that warrant such action. In general, there are several reasons why a will may be considered invalid. These include:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity (The individual who passed away lacked the cognitive ability to draft a will)
  • Undue influence (someone pressured or coerced the deceased into leaving certain assets to them)
  • Fraud or forgery (the will was not created or signed by the deceased)
  • Improper execution (the will was not signed according to the legal requirements in your state)

Gather Evidence to Support Your Claim

Once you have determined the grounds on which you want to contest the will, you need to gather evidence to support your claim. This might include medical records, witness statements, financial documents, and any other evidence that you believe is relevant to your case.

File a Petition With the Probate Court

In most cases, contesting a will involves filing a petition with the probate court in the county where the deceased lived. This petition must contain detailed information about why you believe the will is invalid, as well as any evidence you have to support your claim. After you file the petition, the court will thoroughly assess the evidence and ascertain if it warrants a hearing.

Attend a Hearing

If the court determines that your petition has merit, you will be scheduled for a hearing in front of a judge. It is important to be prepared for this hearing and to work closely with your attorney to develop a persuasive and compelling argument.

Appeal a Decision

If you are dissatisfied with the judge's ruling following the hearing, you have the opportunity to potentially challenge the decision by filing an appeal to a higher court. However, this process can be lengthy and expensive, so it is important to carefully consider your options and work closely with your attorney throughout the entire process.

By understanding the legal grounds for contesting a will and gathering evidence to support your claim, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to be patient, persistent, and diligent in your efforts to contest the will, and never give up on fighting for what you believe is right. Reach out to a probate attorney near you to learn more.


About Me

Good Fences And Not So Good Neighbors: Property Law 101

If you've recently moved into a new house and your neighbors are claiming you've infringed on their property line with your new fence, you may not know what to do. Sure, the idea of contacting a lawyer can be intimidating, but if your neighbors are insistent that you're on their property and you can't prove otherwise, an attorney may be the best choice. I created this site to help people just like you understand the laws surrounding property boundaries, real estate claims, and similar issues. I hope that the information here will give you some clarity as to whether or not you need to consult an attorney to protect your interests.