You might think that your loved one’s will is set in stone and unchangeable after their passing. However, many families come across a variety of issues when they are facing the facts of a loved one’s will. For some families, this means discovering that the will is not valid. While not the norm, some wills are created in bad faith or without the full consent of the deceased. In these cases, you might find that your last option is to contest the will. If you find yourself in this situation, the Los Angeles probate and estate planning attorneys at Leiva Lawfirm can help.
Many people believe that they will be able to contest a will just because they don’t like or agree with its terms. While not always the case, these arguments can hold weight in a court case depending on the circumstance. However, there are several reasons for contesting a will, and with the right legal representation, the path forward doesn’t need to be confusing.
What Are the Reasons to Contest a Will
Will Was Not Made in Accordance with State Laws
California has a variety of state-specific laws that must be abided by when you are attempting to legalize a will. The will must be signed by the testator, who is the person leaving the will behind after their passing. Just because the will was devised and signed in another attorney’s office, it doesn’t necessarily follow proper legal procedures. Even in these circumstances, the will could have been made in bad faith or against the state’s laws or even the testator’s wishes.
No Capacity to Sign a Will
In these cases, the testator did not have the capacity to legally sign the will. An example of this is that the testator might have been dealing with a medical issue such as dementia or another disability that made it impossible for them to sign the will with full knowledge of what they were signing. If you believe that the will was signed even though the testator did not have an understanding of the nature and value of their assets or who would obtain them, you may have a case to contest the will.
Testator Was Influenced
Our families and friends can inflict a great deal of peer pressure on us. Sometimes, testators find that the wills of their friends and families outdo their own. Nagging, threats, bribery, and physical, emotional, and mental abuse are some of the many ways that a testator can be cajoled or bullied into signing. Fraud may also come into play if the testator was tricked into signing.
What to Do If You Decide to Contest a Will
Contesting a will is never an easy thing to do, which is why you should have an experienced estate lawyer on your side to help you through all of the details. California estate law is complex. Because there is often a high risk of disgruntled family members and the threat of court looming over your head, you never want to move forward without the help of a local attorney.
There are many aspects of contesting a will that you need to prepare for. You want to ensure that your attorney is experienced in helping you gain real results and that you have a team of professionals on your side who will help you meet deadlines and fight these matters in court. There might be many accusations made against you and your character might be called into question. Contesting a will in California often leads to intense fighting within the family. During these difficult times, you want an experienced estate and probate attorney on your side.
Legal Help Contesting a Will in California
No matter the specifics of your case, we at Leiva Lawfirm want you to have an experienced attorney on your side through it all. An estate lawyer can help you with your case from start to finish. At the Leiva Law Firm, we can help you every step of the way. Contact us at (818) 703-1777 today for a free consultation and to find out how we can help in the midst of your case.