Will contests happen when a person takes legal action and disputes the validity of a will. There are several reasons wills are contested so it is important you understand the process and what to expect should you ever find yourself dealing with such a dispute.
Why Are Wills Contested?
Perhaps the most common reason a will is contested is that the testator, the one who wrote the will, was not in their right mind when they wrote it. There are several reasons that a person might not be in their sound mind, especially later in life. This can be due to dementia, mental illness, or even being under the influence.
Another reason someone contests a will is because they feel the testator was influenced by someone else. Testators are sometimes pressured by others to write their wills in a way that solely benefits that person and leaves everyone else with the bare minimum, if anything at all.
The will may also be contested if it is forged or fraudulent. There have been cases where people forge wills or write up fake ones in an effort to obtain a person’s estate.
What Should You Do If You Believe A Will Is Not Valid?
If you do not believe a will is valid, you will need to file a petition in a probate court. Wills are usually filed at a probate court after a person passes and it is where you will go should you need to contest one.
When filing a petition, you need to specify the reasons you are contesting the will. The most common grounds that wills are contested are listed above. Be sure that you provide valid evidence to back your claims. When your petition is filed, the probate court sets a hearing date. At the hearing, both sides will present their evidence before a judge as they argue their side. It is then the judge’s decision to decide whether or not the will is valid.
Will contests can drain you both emotionally and financially, especially if you are having to battle it out with family. However, contesting a will is sometimes the only way you are able to make sure everything was divided fairly and as the testator would have wanted. If you decide to contest a will, be sure to have a solid case. Take the time to prepare yourself for what is to come– it isn’t as easy as you might think it should be.
Grubbs & Landry Can Help You With Your Last Will and Testament
No one wants to think about death, but if you have a Last Will and Testament, it will protect your interests and those of the ones you hold dear. Upon your death, if you do not have a Last Will and Testament, the Commonwealth of Kentucky gets to decide who receives all your assets. There are also certain ways to hold assets whereby such assets would not need to go through the court system but pass directly to your chosen beneficiary. Other documents we can prepare in line with this planning phase is a Power of Attorney and Living Will.
Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!
About Grubbs & Landry
At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.