Klenk Law

How long do I have to challenge my Dad’s will in Delco?

Posted on Mon Sep 14, 2015, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Delaware County Will Challenge

Most Recently Updated July 21, 2018.

“My father, a resident of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, died of dementia 12 years ago. Shortly before he died, his will was changed giving everything to my cousin. We believed that my father died broke, but now that my cousin died, we found out that he had a joint account with her containing a large sum of money. The prior will states that I would receive ¼ of his estate. Can I challenge the will?”

Will Contests

Delaware County Will Challenge

Delaware County Will Challenge

First, a will challenge case alone based on incapacity or undue influence, even if successful, would not help you. You stated that the funds were in a joint account. A joint account passes outside of probate, meaning the will has no effect on the joint ownership. To be successful, you would first have to prove that the joint account was created improperly-perhaps under undue influence or forgery-so that the assets would pour into the estate. Then you would have to prove that the existing will was invalid.

Challenge a Will within a Year

Unfortunately, you have waited too long to pursue the case. Will challenges or will contests must be brought within one year of the Will’s probate with the Register of Wills. A Will challenge is an appeal from that probate, and after one year you are no longer able to appeal that probate. This time limit makes sense, otherwise there never be a way to be sure that estate assets could be sold without a future challenge. If you had acted within one year you could have challenged the will.

Further Will Contest Questions?

Challenge time frames are one part of the Will Contest process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Will Contests and Will Challenges All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Delaware County Will Challenge

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining the time frame for a challenge. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Will Contest Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Will Contest Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to put our 25 years of estate litigation experience to work for you.

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