Klenk Law

Immoral Acts and Probate Litigation

Pennsylvania Will Contest LawyersAt your parent’s death did you discover assets had mysteriously disappeared? Perhaps someone with a Power of Attorney shifted assets or made gifts or added a beneficiary designation on a bank account? While your parent was ill, did they make an unexpected change to their Will? Maybe the Will was signed shortly before death favoring a child or caregiver differently that prior wills?

These are just a few examples of immoral acts that probate litigation addresses. Will Contests are a narrow, focused area of the law. You are wise to gain advice and representation from an attorney who focuses their practice on Estate Litigation.

Contesting a Will

Contesting or Challenging a Will means that you believe that a judge should invalidate a submitted Will. You think that your Will Contest Lawyer can provide the necessary evidence for a judge to determine the Will invalid. Every state has its own rules about Wills and Trusts, but the most common basis for Will Challenges in the United States are:

  • Forgery: The deceased didn’t sign this Will.
  • Capacity: The deceased signed this Will, but he lacked the necessary mental capacity to understand what he was signing.
  • Undue Influence: The deceased signed the Will, but the signature resulted from undue pressure. But for the Undue Influence, the Will would not have been executed.
  • Fraud: The deceased signed the Will but under false pretenses.
  • Invalid Execution: The settlor signed the Will in a way that the state recognizes as valid.

Will Contest Procedures

Will Contests are brought in special courts and in most states heard by judges who focus on estate conflicts. It is not the judge’s job to investigate the facts. You and your attorney must gather the evidence and present it to the judge in the proper form using the Rules of Evidence. These rules allow witness depositions, documents subpoenaed, and records obtained. The judge can only rule in your favor if you give her the necessary evidence. There is rarely a jury, who might decide a case on emotion. The judge needs facts.

For these reasons, it is essential to retain an experienced Will Contest Lawyer. Will Contests and Will Challenges is not an area of the law in which an attorney should work parttime.

The Statute of Limitations

Each state allows only a specific period in which to bring a Will Contest. If you wait too long, you cannot bring your case even if the facts are apparently in your favor. In some states, like Florida, the statute of limitations is as short as three months. If you have suspicions about a Will or the facts surrounding a deceased’s assets, act quickly, or your chance may escape.

Thank you to the Pennsylvania Will Contest Lawyers and New Jersey Will Challenge Lawyers at Klenklaw for sharing this article.

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