Klenk Law

When Can a Will Be Challenged?

Posted on Mon Oct 8, 2018, on Will Contests and Will Challenges

The Legal Capacity of the Creator or Testator.

Will Challenges Law Firm Philadelphia, PA

Challenging a will isn’t easy.  The only person who knows the truth is dead.  A will should reflect the deceased’s wishes.  The court has a written document; now your legal team must provide the judge evidence enough to convince her to disregard that will.  The supposed author is dead, so this evidence must come from elsewhere.  Many of these cases resemble detective novels.  The results often turns on financial or medical records. Your legal team must collect and analyze these records. Further, your will contest lawyer may determine the necessity of handwriting or mental health experts.

Standing.

Those parties with anything to gain from the will’s dismissal may challenge. Spouses are usually the most successful will contestants. Often the challenge is based on their spouse not have the requisite mental capacity. Another route is proving a will modification resulted from undue influence.

If you successfully challenge a will, the judge can void the entire document or portions of the will. The facts will dictate the result.  In some cases, the judge orders probated an earlier will. In others, a prior will provision is reinstated. If the court voids the only existing will, the judge will order the estate distributed under the rules of intestacy. Dying without a will is called dying intestate. Family relationships determine intestate distribution.

Because will challenges are complicated, wise litigants enlist an experienced attorney.

Following are some of the basis for will contests.

The Legal Capacity of the Creator or Testator.

  • To create a Will, you must be 18 or older. In some areas, individuals who serve in the military or who are married are deemed legally competent to sign a will.
  • Wills contests may result because the creator suffered from dementia, senility, or insanity.  Further, drug or alcohol abuse can render a person incapacitated. Ask yourself, did the grantor understand the following:
    • The value or extent of the property.
    • His or her immediate family.
    • The beneficiaries’ identify.
    • What function the will served.
    • What results came from the will’s terms.

A Will Challenged When Forgery, Fraud, or Undue Influence is Suspected.

If you can show that the will is the result of forgery, fraud or undue influence, you may be able to challenge its validity.  If someone manipulates a person to leave all or most of the property to the manipulator, the court can thwart the manipulator.  Should the judge agree with the evidence, he can disregard the tainted will.

Most Recent Will Version.

Finding and submitting a more recent will can void an older will. Even if an older will has been accepted, this is true. Dating documents is critical in creating legal papers. The court will always strive to recognize the most recent documents. These presumably represent the testator’s last wishes.

Witnesses.

Working with an Estate Planning lawyer helps ensure the will’s correct signing. One requirement, except in Pennsylvania, is the correct number of witnesses.

Contact a will challenges law firm Philadelphia, PA trusts from Klenk Law if you have questions concerning the legality of specific provisions of a will.

 

 

Tags:

Will Challenge Attorney, Will Challenge Lawyer, Will Contest, Will Contest Attorney, Will Contest Lawyer

What Our clients are saying

Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Stars

Peter was excellent. He explained everything very clearly and is super friendly. My wife and I originally tried using a lawyer through group legal coverage, but unfortunately the old adage - "you get what you pay for" - applied to the other lawyer, and we decided to go with a real professional.

Stars

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...

Stars

AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!

Stars

Great friendly staff

Stars

Tremendous firm with bright, kind and tenacious people. Great representation for our family.

Stars

I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.

Stars

Everything about my experience was a 10+! Peter and his staff made what I thought would be a difficult process easy and understandable. Every detail was handled correctly. No other firm could possibly do better than Klenk Law!

Stars

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

Stars

Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.

Stars

Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem

Stars

Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.

Stars

Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.

Stars

Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!

Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Stars

Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!

Stars

You & your staff are the best thank you for everything.

Stars

Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.

Stars

Peter Klenk made a complex subject understandable and allowed us to move forward with our estate planning. He was patient with our questions and creative in the solutions he proposed.

Stars

Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.

Stars

Fantastic customer service. Very personable and most importantly they provide great explanations of what is required based on your individual needs. Highly recommend Klenk Law for anyone that needs to create a will and estate documents.

Stars

Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.

Stars

Surprisingly easy

Stars

Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.

Stars

Peter and his associates made things easy for us.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.