Wills are legal documents that provide individuals the ability to determine where they want their property to go after they die. In some cases, people may develop a written contract in their will that explains provisions given in exchange for other considerations. Take, for example, an elderly parent that will have one of these contracts written where in exchange for live-in care by a child, the child who cares for them will inherit the parent’s home.
How Can Late Filing a Breach of Contract Lawsuit in California Affect the Terms of a Will?
In the state of California, when a person puts together their will, they can determine who is named to receive what property. They can also adjust the contents of their will throughout their life if they choose. When a will is finalized it is considered legally binding. If one party agrees to make a will and they enter into a contract to make a will with another party that is also legally binding in the state. If you have an agreement made with a family member, loved, or any other party about obtaining property or wealth after they pass, and they don’t update their will to reflect this or if they fail to make a will before they die you could have grounds to file a California breach of contract lawsuit.
A California breach of contract lawsuit will give you the opportunity to argue for what you believe is rightfully yours. To be successful with your breach of contract case, you must prove the following:
- The contract exists.
- Offer an excuse for a plaintiff’s performance or lack of performance.
- Define how the defendant breached the contract with the plaintiff.
- Define the damages the plaintiff suffered as a result of the defendant’s breach of contract.
There are many steps that go into building a strong claim supporting a breach of contract case. Working with a California estate planning attorney is an important part of having your case be a success. The other vitally important factor that will determine a favorable outcome is filing during the required time-frame. In California, you have one year to file your claim. The state’s courts take this deadline very seriously and if you fail to file in time, your case will not move forward.
The exceptions to this would be if the plaintiff has the ability to invoke “equitable estoppel” which allows for an extension of the strict deadline. A plaintiff could qualify for this extension if they can prove that the defendant intentionally deceived and mislead them on facts important to their case.
Do You Need Help Making a Will in California?
If you are thinking about making a contract regarding your will, ensuring it is in writing will protect your interests and that of the party who you are making the contract with. It will ensure that your wishes are properly executed. The Los Angeles estate planning attorneys at Leiva Law Firm will help you update your will, write legally binding contracts, or write up your will if you don’t have one.
Contact the California estate lawyers at Leiva Law today to schedule your free consultation by calling 818-519-4465.