Depending on the reason for the will contest, a successful outcome can achieve varied results. For example, if the probate court determines that the will maker was not mentally competent when the will was executed, the entire will can be held to be invalid. This means that the assets and property owned by the decedent will pass under the laws of intestacy, as if the will never existed, or according to the terms of any valid previously drafted will.
If the will contest is based upon the inclusion of one beneficiary that coerced the will maker into leaving them part of the estate, then the court will likely rule that only a portion of the will is invalid. Thus, the gifts left to that beneficiary will be invalidated and those gifts will either be included as part of the residuary estate (if there is one) or distributed under intestacy. The remainder of the will remains valid and enforceable.
If you are considering challenging a will or other estate planning documents, we can review the individual circumstances of your case and help you determine the likelihood of success and the possible outcomes.
We can help with all will contest matters, and we are ready to walk with you every step of the way. We remain available during this uncertain time. To schedule an appointment, call us at (714) 963-7543. At The Legacy Lawyers we are dedicated to your peace of mind.