How Do I Contest a Will in Philadelphia Updated Fri. Sep. 8, 2017
Our “Ask a Question” mailbag address the question; How Do I Contest a Will in Philadelphia?
“I may contest my father’s Will. He died recently in Philadelphia. How do I contest a Will in Philadelphia? Who will hear the case?”
For a more in-depth explanation, read my article, “Will Contests Explained for the Non-Lawyer.”
Only an Interested Party can Bring a Will Contest.
A Will Contest is serious litigation. Each Will Contest begins with a Petition, but will likely end with a hearing that may take place well over a year in the future. To start, only an interested party can pursue a Will Contest. If your inheritance is diminished by the Will, you are an interested party. Or, in other terms, if a judge finds the Will invalid, your inheritance increases. Therefore, if the Will in question reduces your inheritance from what you would have received through your father’s prior Will, you are an interested party. If not, the court will dismiss your challenge.
Where do I File a Petition to Challenge a Will?
If you plan to contest a Will in Pennsylvania, we will file the Petition to start the process with the Orphans’ Court of the county in which the deceased resided. For example, if the deceased person was a resident of Philadelphia County, we file the Will with the Philadelphia County Register of Wills. As a result, we appeal the Will’s validity from the Register’s office, and a Philadelphia County Orphans’ Court judge hears the case.
The Venue for Your Will Contest is the Philadelphia County Orphans’ Court.
Owing to your father’s Philadelphia residency, the Will in question should reside with the Philadelphia Register of Wills. Under these circumstances, we appeal from the Register’s office and a Philadelphia Orphans’ Court judge will hear the case.
For more information, see my website page, “Will Contests and Will Challenges.”
How Do I Contest a Will in Philadelphia?
In conclusion, a Will Challenge is serious litigation. Consequently, do not lightly enter into a Will Contest. Let’s speak about your situation and plan your course of action. Feel free to contact our office to set up a free consultation.
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