Death is an absolute certainty. However, it is definitely not a pleasant idea to think about it, but any rational human being would have to think about his impending death and accordingly ensure that his hard earned property, assets and money are left to his loved ones. It is a good idea to spend some time in analyzing how your property should be distributed. This involves making a will.
Why Should You Make a Will?
Making a proper will is especially necessary if you are worried about who should receive and enjoy your assets after your death. You could get rid of a will and consider a brand new will if some changes in circumstances take place for instance, on the children’s birth, parent’s death, death of a spouse, or on any business succession etc. Usually marriage necessitates revoking a will, and getting a new will prepared to provide for your spouse.
Investing and disputing
Disputes arising over wills, probate and trusts invariably occur only at times of mental distress and emotional vulnerability. Defending or building such claims could be extremely challenging and may become fraught and acrimonious in no time. Seeking professional advice regarding contesting a will at an early stage proves to be fruitful in resolving matters. Valuable advice given by a lawyer can be crucial in avoiding litigation and expensive court proceedings.
How to Contest a Will in a Stress-free Way?
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When a death occurs in the family the last thing one would desire is a fight over property or estate. With constant increases in estate values, more and more families or parties however, are coming up with grievances. These disputes over a will can be extremely distressing. Whether you want to contest a will or you are at the receiving end of any claim, the entire exercise of disputing a will could be emotionally stressful and time consuming as well. However, a professional law firm can guide you through this complex niche of law and would advise you on the way to contest a will. There are expert litigations and probate solicitorswho help you get best outcome in a cost-effective way.
The litigation experts possess specialist knowledge to manage your grievances regarding inheritance with empathy, while at the same time, maintaining objectivity to achieve a satisfactory resolution. There is a wide spectrum of disputes over a will. The lawyers represent executors, persons claiming against estates, personal representatives, or other parties. They advise on even cross-jurisdictional issues.
When Should You Contest a Will?
There are at least four grounds on which a will can be contested. They could be:
When the will had not been signed according to the applicable state laws
There are specific laws in each state regarding how a Last Will and Testament should be signed. For instance, in Florida the will requires to be signed by the Testator only in the presence, as well as, hearing of two witnesses. The will should be signed with precise legal formalities and should be executed in any estate lawyer’s office. But often these conditions are not fulfilled completely. Thus, when one fails to comply with the applicable state laws while signing the will, it is enough ground to contest his will.
When the testator was found lacking in testamentary capacity for signing a will
Testamentary capacity includes the following: The Testator is able to understand the value and exact nature of his assets; who are supposed to inherit the assets and the legal consequences of signing a will.However, the standards are not very high for judging the testator’s capacity. For instance, in Florida an individual can present signs of dementia yet he maystill possess the testamentary capacity for signing a will. So it is quite difficult to prove lack of testamentary capability.
The Testator signed the will under duress from an outside party
As people grow old they become constitutionally and emotionally weak and are easily susceptible to others’ influence. The will can be contested provided it can be proved that the alleged undue influencer actually, exerted extreme pressure on the Testator which made him lose free will and sign the will in accordance with the wish of the alleged undue influencer.
If the will had been procured by fraud
A will is declared to have been procured by fraud if the Testator was actually tricked into signing it. For instance, if the Testator was given a document telling him that it was a power of attorney or a deed, but in reality it was a will and the Testator signs it unknowingly then, it could be declared to be a will procured by fraudulent ways. The problem with establishing that the will was procured by fraudulent ways is that the testator cannot tell exactly what was signed by him. It is here, that the state laws become active and the witnesses are questioned as to what they thought about the document the testator was signing and the reason why they were requested to come as witnesses. If the testimony of the witnesses seems conflicting or inconclusive then the will may be declared invalid.