Klenk Law

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What is the process for contesting a will?

If someone passed away and left a will, but you or someone else wishes to contest the will, you may be wondering how that process works. A will challenges law firm Cherry Hill, NJ offers such as Klenk Law can guide you through the legal proceedings and protect your best interests. When a will is contested successfully, it can significantly impact those involved, whether they are the one contesting the will or one of the persons initially named in the will. Others might be affected as well. Which is why it’s important to know that an experienced legal professional is on your side. Call us to schedule a complimentary consultation with a will challenge lawyer who can help you explore your legal options.

What is a will contest?

When a will is contested, it begins a legal process in which the validity of a will is questioned in a court of law. The person contesting the will initiates a lawsuit against the submitted will. The exact process and laws surrounding the process vary by state. Your will challenge lawyer from Klenk Law will be able to explain how the laws will affect your case. Generally speaking, the person who desires to contest the will must:

  1.    Have a financial interest in the estate’s assets. For example, they are a beneficiary, or they would have inherited the estate’s assets if the challenged will is removed.
  2.    Have legal grounds for doing so, or else the court will reject their case. Legal grounds can include:
    1.    The decedent was not of sound mind when they wrote their will.
    2.    Someone coerced or otherwise forced or pressured the deceased to write the will in the way in which they wrote it.
    3.    The decedent did not have witnesses of them signing their will as required by law (this varies by state).
    4.    A more current will than the one being used to distribute the estate’s assets exists.

Filing a Caveat Before Probate.

A person can contest a will before it enters the probate process or they can contest it during the probate process. This will depend on current state laws which can be explained to you by your will challenge lawyer from Klenk Law. A caveat refers to a legal action that occurs before the probate process begins. When your will challenge lawyer files a caveat with the correct official, this becomes public knowledge. It also gives notice to the probate court that the decedent’s will should not enter the probate process.

The Caveator Explained.

The caveator refers to the person who filed the caveat. When the questionable will is filed, the person filing the will receives notice of the caveat.  The probate administrator then notifies the caveator of the will. The caveator has a period during which they can respond to the petition.  The caveator cannot just stall. He must make a case for why they believe the will is not valid.

Call us at  Klenk Law if you have questions or concerns about a will and your legal rights.

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