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From Our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: “My mother died this year, and my brother filed a will he had her sign when she had dementia. I want to contest the Will, but I don’t know what that means. Can you explain what You Need to Know about Contesting a Will in Pennsylvania?”
Glen Ridenour, Will Contest Lawyer in Pennsylvania
What You Need to Know about Contesting a Will in Pennsylvania?
Since humans had “things,” such as pretty shells or bows and arrows, they have had to deal with the question of what to do with these things when a person dies. This is what we now call probate: making sure the deceased person’s things end up in the correct hands. In our legal system, a person can put such wishes into a binding legal form called a Will. If the person creates the Will correctly under the law, the Will is binding. But if the rules are not followed, the person was not competent to understand what they were doing, or if the person was coerced into signing, the Will is invalid. A Will Contest or Will Challenge occurs when an interested party brings the Will before a judge and attempts to prove the terms should not be followed.
A writing meant to provide legally binding directions as to how to settle a person’s affairs at death is a Will. A Will can address many subjects. For example, a Will may state who receives the deceased’s assets but also handle matters such as debt repayment, granting the right to use real estate for a set number of years or a life term, guardianship for minor children, the creation of trusts, and giving powers to run a business.
Furthermore, the Will usually appoints an executor. The Executor is tasked with gathering the deceased assets, settling claims, and following the Will’s terms.
Grounds to Challenge a Will.
Only an interested party may challenge a Will. In short, a person is an interested party if they receive more inheritance if the Court invalidates the present Will. If the prior Will gives each child a share, but the current Will gives all the assets to one child, then the other children are interested parties. Why? If your will contest lawyer successfully challenges the current Will, the prior Will takes its place.
Your Will Challenge Attorney must file a Petition stating the basis on which you believe the Will is invalid. Examples include:
If you decide to have our Will Contest Law Firm represent your challenge, you will work with Attorney Glen Ridenour and his team. The team includes Will Contest Lawyer Tracey M. Conner and Will Challenge Attorney Brian Perez. Will Contests are What We Do. We do not dabble in other areas; we focus on estate-related litigation.
In Conclusion, Do you need a Pennsylvania Will Contest Lawyer?
I hope you found this short article, What You Need to Know about Contesting a Will in Pennsylvania. I have also included some links for more detailed information.
Contact us if you want to know more or have an estate needing our help. Let our Pennsylvania Will Contest Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.
It’s All We Do Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation!
Peter Klenk is the founding member of Klenk Law, a seven attorney boutique estate planning law firm. We serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Minnesota and Florida. Peter Klenk received his Masters in Taxation LL.M. from NYU Law School and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. He served his country in the Navy JAGC during Desert Storm. Easy to talk to, feel free to call Peter for an appointment. We will make the process as easy as possible!
"I worked for Peter Klenk for 4 wonderful years. I can’t speak highly enough of everyone at the firm. Everyone truly cares about their clients and has a strong sense of responsibility to get things done right. I would highly recommend Klenk Law!" Flora Novick
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Peter Klenk was great in leading us in the estate planning process.He was clear in describing the various steps and what they would accomplish. We were well satisfied and pleased that we had Peter to guide us.
Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!
When it came down to picking the right attorney to handle my affairs, I knew right away it was this firm. From speaking to their secretary to speaking to Peter I knew I was making the right decision. After only a few mins Peter knew right away what I was looking for and handled all my questions professionally and even gave me great feedback that put my mind at ease. All that without even giving a single penny! So of course I hired him! So far so good...
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Peter and his associates were a pleasure to work with. He explained the process clearly and provided assistance nearly instantaneously. Highly recommended for trusts-and-estates-related needs!