Providing Compassionate Representation
When a loved one passes on, we are often faced with a multitude of emotions and challenges, some of which we may not be prepared for. The dividing of assets and inheritances left in the deceased’s will is one of the many challenges faced during this trying time, and one that not everyone agrees to.
If you believe the will of a deceased should not be probated you may need to enlist legal aid in contesting the will. At Alden Law Firm of Los Angeles an experienced attorney can walk you through the process of contesting a will and assure your loved one’s assets are being properly distributed according to his or her wishes.
What is a Will Contest?
A “will contest” is legal action challenging the entrance of a will into probate. The will contest represents a formal objection as to the validity of the will or a component thereof. Because the individual who created the will is no longer with us when the will is subject to probate, contentions regarding the will must be handled in a court of law to determine whether the will is valid under the circumstances it was created. A successfully challenged will may be voided in part or in its entirety.
Who Can Contest a Will?
In California, including Los Angeles County, only interested parties can contest a will. This can include people who are named in an earlier will, other heirs who are not in the current will, or anyone else who may have benefitted under an earlier or current will.
Reasons a Will May Need to be Contested
- If the testator was subject to undue influence when creating the will
- If the will in question was procured by fraud
- If the testator was under duress or menace when creating the will
- If the will, or some part thereof, was created based on a mistake of the testator
- The testator lacked intent or testamentary capacity when creating the will due to their mental status at the time of its creation
- The will was not properly created, such as a type written will not being signed by two witnesses
When Can You Contest a Will?
When and how you contest a will can be a complicated process and varies depending on the status of the will in court. Generally, wills are contested at the time they are petitioned to be probated. It is highly recommended that any objection, or will contest, occur at this time. Prior to this, a written will is only considered evidence of a will and not the will itself. Upon petition of a will to probate, the court analyze whether the basic legal requirements are met for the will to be valid presuming no objection is filed (if an objection is filed the court litigates the dispute). Once a will has been successfully probated, you may be entitled to another 120 days to file a will contest asking the court to revoke the order admitting the will to probate.
If you wish to stop a will from being admitted to probate in the first place, you must object to the petition to file a will for probate by filing a will contest lawsuit.
At Alden Law Firm of Los Angeles an experienced attorney can analyze your case to determine if a will contest should be filed depending on the individual circumstances surrounding your case.
How Alden Law Firm Can Help You Successfully Contest a Will
Enlisting the assistance of an experienced attorney when fighting for your rightful inheritance can greatly increase your chances of success.
Mistakes in prosecuting your will contest lawsuit can greatly harm your chances of claiming what you are rightfully due. This is why having an attorney who is equipped with an in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of probate law by your side can be the deciding factor in your case.
At Alden Law Firm of Los Angeles, we are dedicated to helping parties navigate through the legal system to be successful in court. Call today to set up a free consultation