Most Recently Updated Sept. 17, 2017
Philadelphia Will Challenges?
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Philadelphia Will Challenges
“My mom died five years ago while I was serving overseas. I was able to return for the funeral, but I couldn’t stay and deal with her estate. My sister promised to watch our Step-dad, but she didn’t. He filed a Will that is an obvious forgery and took our mom’s house. My mom had told all of us she wanted him to live in the house till he died, then it was to be sold for us kids. He is now selling the house. Can we challenge that will and stop the sale?”
Standing To Bring a Philadelphia Will Contest.
The first hurdle you need overcome is proving that you have the standing to bring the Will Challenge. To be a party of interest, you have to show that the Will you wish to challenge caused you damage. What your mother “said” about the house likely doesn’t matter. What does matter is; do you receive more without the step-father filed Will?
For example, what if your mother’s previous Will says all her assets go to your sister? Then removing the “step-father Will” gets you nothing. So removing his Will helps your sister, not you. She would have the standing to challenge the Will, but not you. But, if removing the filed Will gets you part of the house, then you do have the standing to bring a Will Contest.
If your mother had no Will, determine your inheritance using Pennsylvania Rules of Intestacy. Removing the “step-father” Will, in this case, would mean she died intestate; without a Will. If under the Intestacy Rules you would receive more, then you would have the standing to challenge the Will.
The Statute of Limitations for a Philadelphia Will Contest.
The second hurdle for you to overcome is time. You mentioned your mother died five years ago. But when was the Will filed? There is a set limit as to how long a party in interest can challenge a Pennsylvania Will; 1 year from the filing date. Your being in the service doesn’t matter. If one year has passed, then you cannot bring a Will Challenge, even if the document is an obvious forgery.
See my website for more information about Forgery and Will Contests.
More Details About Pennsylvania Will Challenges.
As you can see from the prior two paragraphs, a Pennsylvania Will Challenge is complicated litigation. I cannot address all the issues in this space, but I invite you to read my Article, “Will Contests Explained for the Non-Lawyer: Everything You Need to Know.”
Furthermore, I would be happy to answer your questions. If you have any other matters for a Philadelphia County Will Challenge Attorney, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. We try to make the process painless!
Philadelphia Will Challenges, An Introduction.
In conclusion, in this Post, I tried to introduce you to the procedures of a Philadelphia Will Contest, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. So, let me know how I did, comments and questions are welcome!
Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!
Author, Peter Klenk, Esq.