Will Contesting

Here’s an interesting and general article about Will Contesting. Read below.

Will contests are typically brought on by family members from wealthy families who believe they were cheated out of their share of the inheritance of the assets involved. A legal battle may also erupt though when a family member believes the will was fraudulent or done under bad circumstances. For example, they may have had Alzheimer’s and were not in sound mind at the time the will was created.

To be specific, a will contest is a legal proceeding that challenges the validity of a will or its wording. To contest a will you need to make a case for one of the following in probate court; was the will maker mentally competent at the time they drafted or signed the will? Was the will maker pressured by someone to agree to the terms of the will? Does the will maker have another will or trust that would trump this one? Was the will properly witnessed or signed? Was the will maker tricked or fraudulently exploited? Did an outside party change the will? If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you have a legitimate reason to contest a will in probate court.

Probate court is a sanctioned legal process that tries to distribute the estate of those who’ve died. The probate process has several goals you should expect. One goal is to verify the validity of the deceased person’s will. The second goal is to identity and create an inventory of the deceased person’s estate. The third goal of probate court is to appraise the estate. The fourth goal is to get the deceased’s remaining debts and taxes paid. The final goal is to distribute the deceased’s property to the rightful owners. If the will is successfully contested and becomes void, or if there is no will at all, the deceased person’s kin would get the estate distributed to them. In some state’s kin include a surviving spouse.

The best way to avoid will contests is with careful planning and good drafting by the will maker. A good will maker will try to avoid using divisive measures such as disinheriting family members, or anything else that will cause conflicts or invite challenges. A good will maker will also never put assets they already pass using other means, such as trust funds, in the will. Another way to prevent will contests is by having a ‘no contest clause’. This clause gives a gift, such as a certain amount of money, to some one and by accepting that gift they agree not to contest the will.

Disclaimer: This article has been written for information and interest purposes only. The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author only, and should not be construed as legal advice or used to make legal decisions. Consult an attorney in your area if you’re seeking legal advice.

Article Source: http://www.articleset.com

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