A will contest is the formal challenge to the validity of a will based on the contention that it does not reflect the testator’s (person who allegedly made the will) actual intent. Let our Orange County will attorney help you through the process.
There are a variety of reasons for a contest. Most include the assertions that the testator lacked testamentary capacity to create it. Or assertions that the testator was subjected to undue influence, mistake, duress or fraud during its creation. One can bring will contests for other reasons, including claims that the person did not properly draft, execute, or witness the will.
No Contest Clause
A will may include a no-contest clause with language along the lines of “any person who contests this will shall forfeit the right to receive anything under the will.” A no-contest clause operates to disinherit any person who challenges the will’s validity. Since this clause is within the will, a successful challenge would render it meaningless. Furthermore, if the interested person was given something substantial under the will, that gift could compel him to forego a will contest even if he thinks the will is invalid.
Many estate planning attorneys advise their clients to include no contest clauses in their wills. They also advise them to give meaningful gifts to close heirs they otherwise plan to disinherit to minimize the risk of litigation.
Consult an Orange County Will Attorney and Probate Litigation Lawyer
If you think there is something wrong with a will, immediately contact a will attorney for evaluation and counsel. A seasoned probate attorney should provide you with enough information to make an informed decision about the specific facts and circumstances of your case. The biggest mistake most people make is waiting to see what happens. Probate judges are too busy to personally investigate each case that comes into their courtroom. They will, however, listen to the concerns of interested parties. If you suspect there is a problem you must speak up. If you would like a free case review by a will attorney, fill out the Free Case Review form below.