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Pennsylvania Will Challenges; An Explanation

Posted on Tue Jan 27, 2015, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

Most Recently Updated Sept. 17, 2107.

Lehigh County Will Challenge.

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Lehigh County Will Challenge, an explanation.

“My sister went on disability and lived with my mother for many years in Lehigh County.  She slowly isolated my mother, making it difficult for me to even talk to her.  When I would call, my sister said my mother was asleep and wouldn’t put her on the phone.  My sister didn’t even call to tell me that my mom recently died.  She then filed a Will giving everything to my sister.  The prior Will divides everything equally between the children. I think this Will was caused by Undue Influence. Can you explain to me how to Challenge the Will?”

A Lehigh County Will Contest Begins With a Petition.

Currently, the legal system doesn’t know about you. For you to be recognized, you need to enter yourself into the system. Your Will Contest starts with a well-crafted petition challenging the Will’s validity. This petition notifies the system that you are now a litigant. You build the case based on this petition. It is your foundation. Prepare the Petition correctly or risk waiving important positions. Therefore, attorney experience is vital.

Undue Influence Will Contest.

Your petition will state that the basis for your challenge is Undue Influence. The Petition doesn’t need to provide evidence. But to succeed, we must at the trial provide the judge with evidence proving that Undue Influence caused your mother to create the Will.  

The burden will be on you to prove your case.  There are specific elements to establishing a Will Contest based on Undue Influence. The judge orders discovery. So, you will need an experienced attorney to gather evidence through depositions and subpoena.  At trial, your attorney submits the evidence under Rules of Evidence.  This process takes time to learn. Experience is vital for your case.

For more detailed information, see my Article, “Undue Influence: Everything You Need To Know.”

A Trial, Withdraw or Settle.

As the discovery process progresses, testimony, documents, and records will start painting a story.  The more information we gather, the better we can tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  Based on this information you will either decide to settle, withdraw or go to trial.

Lehigh County Will Challenge; A Short Introduction.

Pennsylvania Will Contests are an interesting area of the law which few lawyers focus completely.  This post will give you a short introduction.  But for more Will Challenge information, read my Article “Will Contests Explained for the Non-Lawyer: Everything You Need to Know.”

Will Contests, Explained.

In conclusion, in this Post, I tried to introduce you to the process of pursuing a Will Contest. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website.  So, let me know how I did, comments and questions are welcome!

Furthermore, I would be happy to answer your questions.  If you have any other matters for a Lehigh County Will Challenge Attorney, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. We try to make the process painless!

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!

Author, Peter Klenk, Esq.



Glen Ridenour, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Undue Influence, Will Challenge Attorney, Will Challenge Lawyer, Will Challenges, Will Contest Attorney, Will Contest Lawyer, Will Contests

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