There are certain circumstances when you may decide that you need to contest a will. Contesting a will is a very serious decision to make, and there are many legal steps involved if you want to successfully argue that a will should not be probated because it does not accurately reflect the wishes of the deceased. If you are considering contesting a will, it is a good idea to talk with an experienced attorney first.
Frank & Kraft can provide you with insight into the reasons why wills are contested, the types of legal arguments you could make to convince the court that the will should not be probated, and the possible consequences of contesting a will. You should give us a call to find out more about the assistance that we can offer you with contesting a will.
Why Should You Contest a Will?
When you contest a will, you argue that the will should not be probated. This would mean that the instructions provided in the last will and testament would not be followed. Because this could result in someone’s instructions for his or her assets not being complied with, you should only contest a will if you think that it is not an accurate reflection of what the deceased person would have wanted, had the deceased person been of sound mind and not defrauded or unduly influenced.
There could be risks to contesting a will. The fight over whether the will is a valid one could result in the value of the entire estate being reduced because of costs associated with litigation. If you stand to inherit something under the will, this could mean that you get less money as a result of paying to fight over whether the will should be probated.
Some wills also contain a no contest clause that is designed to discourage people from challenging the will. If you decide to challenge a will despite this type of clause being in place, there could be consequences including receiving no inheritance at all that you otherwise would have received or receiving a lesser inheritance.
Contesting a will can also create issues within your family and can cause fighting and disharmony — which may be uncomfortable and which you may not want to deal with at the same time as you are coping with a loved one’s death.
Will these are clear downsides to contesting a will, you may still want to contest one if you do not believe it is a valid will that will be upheld in court or if you don’t think that the deceased person would have actually wanted the will to be probated when of sound mind and not unduly influenced.
There are a number of legal arguments you could make to prove why the will isn’t a valid one that should be enforced. You could argue the deceased was unduly influenced, was convinced to make the will under fraudulent pretenses, or had lost his mental faculties before making the will. You could also argue that the deceased did not actually create the will and that it is a fraudulent document.
Frank & Kraft can help you to determine if you have grounds for contesting a will and can help you to evaluate the likelihood that your will contest will be a successful one.
Getting Help from a Probate Lawyer With Contesting a Will
If you believe that you have valid grounds for contesting a will, you should talk with Frank & Kraft as soon as possible. We can help you to begin gathering evidence and building arguments for why a will should be contested. We can also assist you in understanding the law, preparing your case, and presenting your case so you can maximize the chances that the will contest will be successful.
To find out more about the many different ways that our firm can help you with contesting a will, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online at any time to get personalized advice and help with the process of contesting a will that you do not think is an accurate reflection of the wishes of the deceased.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.