Klenk Law

Tag: Undue Influence

Will Lawyer Allentown, PA

Philadelphia Will Contest Attorney; Will Contests Are What We Do!

Posted on Tue Jul 26, 2016, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

How important is it to choose a Philadelphia Will Contest Attorney whose only focus is estate litigation? Naturally; never trust a complex will contest to a part-time practitioner. That is to say, such cases require specific experience in a particular court. In other words, a “Philadelphia Will Contest Attorney” cannot exist without years of experience. Indeed, contesting wills in the Orphans’ Court is learned over time. As an illustration, with over 20 years of experience, even someone like myself learns more each day.

Is There a Bucks County Will Contest Statute of Limitations?

Posted on Wed Feb 3, 2016, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Is there a statute of limitations period to challenge a will in Bucks County?

Yes. You have one year from the filing of the will to appeal the filing of a will and to contest the validity through a will contest or will challenge. Filing sooner rather than later is usually the best, as the Executor might be selling or distributing assets, which may be difficult or impossible to recover. A call to the Register of Wills should provide you with the date the will was filed. Depending on your specific timeline, and whether the one year statute of limitations has already passed, your options may vary or be non-existent.

How do I protect my father from my brother’s undue influence?

Posted on Wed Dec 30, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My father has been diagnosed with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. He is having some memory issues, but is still doing very well on his own with one exception. My brother has always been the black sheep of the family. He has never held a steady job. He recently declared bankruptcy and has been pressuring my father to give him money and to change his will to give my brother more money. My father and my deceased mother’s wills have always divided their estate equally between the four children. My father has told me that he does not want to change his will, but that he is worried that as the Alzheimer’s progresses, he may give into the pressure my brother is putting on him. How do I protect my father from my brother’s undue influence?

How do I challenge my mother’s caregiver’s claim against her estate?

Posted on Sun Nov 29, 2015, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother’s caregiver informed us at the funeral that my mother signed a will giving the caregiver all her money. What can we do?

In general, if she has not filed the will yet, you could have an experienced will contest lawyer file paperwork to stop her from filing the will. You can then take stock of the situation. You will then know when the will was signed, who are the witnesses, if the signature is your mother’s, and who drafted the will. You can also surmise your mother’s mental state on the date the will was signed.

What if I think my brother used undue influence to change my father’s will?

Posted on Thu Oct 15, 2015, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My brother used undue influence on my father — who suffered from Alzheimer’s — to change his will. I have filed a will contest in Camden County. My brother’s attorney is not doing any work, as he says the burden is on me. Is he correct?

When you are the challenger in a will contest the initial burden of proof is on you to show that the will was created under undue influence. An experienced will contest lawyer can explain this burden to you, as it is a bit too complex for a blog post.

Elder Financial Scam Allegedly Left No Estate Money, Philadelphia

Posted on Wed Jul 29, 2015, on Elder Financial Scams

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: When my father became very ill two years ago, we hired a full time caretaker to help him. We live in California and my father lived in Philadelphia, so we could not be there at all times. At his death, we were shocked to find out that his will was changed and the caretaker was the executor. She says all his money was spent on medical care, but that is impossible. We are now being told we are the heirs, but there is no money. I suspect she has stolen his money. What can I do?

You have a few options. If the will has been filed and accepted by the Register, you could appeal the validity of the will to the Philadelphia Orphans’ Court.

Challenging a Will in Pennsylvania: Undue Influence and Lack of Capacity

Posted on Thu Feb 12, 2015, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

Not all family and friends are perfect. And in some cases, they can be downright malevolent. Ensuring family members and loved ones are not unfairly left out of a decedent’s Will is a common concern.

Modern medicine has vastly increased the average lifespan. Sadly, science has not solved every problem, and one in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s or dementia. These diseases affect a person’s judgment, memory and cognitive functions. Often reaching the point where a patient may completely lose capacity to develop or revise their estate plan.

Pennsylvania Will Challenges; An Explanation

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

My Grandfather, a resident of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, died of dementia 12 years ago. Shortly before his death, his will was changed giving everything to my Aunt. We believed that my grandfather died broke, but now that my Aunt died we found out that he had a joint account with her containing a large sum of money. The prior will stated that I would receive one-fourth of his estate. Can I challenge the will?

First, a 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.

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