The burden of loss is often the heaviest of human experiences. It is a reminder that tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. However, when it comes to promises, some may appear forsaken. Perhaps your loved one gave you some insight into their final bequests that seem to conflict with representations after death. Could it be that you’ll need to challenge a loved one’s Will?
It can be an unfortunate turn of events. All things considered, most would agree that no amount of money or property will ever replace the live presence of their beloved family member. In the meantime, there are many reasons that you might find it necessary to contest a will.
For starters, a quick review of some terminology associated with estate planning. As you might already surmise, a Last Will and Testament serves to express someone’s final wishes after his or her death. The individual who makes the will is known as the testator, who appoints an executor or executrix to carry out the instructions regarding the division of the estate and other matters of importance.
Beneficiaries to a will can be family members, friends, pets and different types of organizations. For example, a decedent could leave monies to a charitable group or a college alumni institution. An experienced estate law attorney provides advice concerning the laws of inheritance and guides the client through the process.
Although a select few may attempt writing their wills with internet assistance, most visit lawyers to ensure their wills are bulletproof. That may have you wondering as to when it might be appropriate even to consider contesting a will.
Reasons for Will Challenges
The passing of several celebrities has brought the concept of will challenges to the forefront. For example, there was much fanfare over the last requests of Michael Jackson, which irked the pop star’s family members. The list goes on as far as many others in the public eye whose wills were subject to contest.
All things considered, the motives behind challenging a will vary. First, there are those who feel shortchanged and disgruntled. Their feelings may or not be justified. However, in order to contest a will, you must consider the following:
- Do you feel the Will presented to Probate is fraudulent for any reason?
- Was your loved one coerced into signing the Will? In other words, was there a matter of undue influence?
- Is there a possibility that the Will was forged?
- Did your loved one lack the mental capacity to execute the Will?
- Was the Will improperly executed?
- Is there a chance that a later copy of the Will exists?
As you grieve for your loved one, you may be worried about the appearance of impropriety for challenging his or her last wishes. However, it could be that your concerns are valid. You should know that you are restricted by time limitations in contesting a Will.
Are you thinking of challenging a loved one’s Will? Fellerman & Ciarimboli can provide you with experienced legal advice concerning your particular circumstances. Give us a call to schedule an appointment.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.