Grieving over a loved one who passed can be difficult enough. The situation becomes much worse when the family has to spend time fighting in court because someone contests the will. While your focus is on treasuring your special memories with your loved one, a will contest can be stressful, expensive, and emotional, especially when you feel that you know your loved one’s true intentions. These are cases you simply can’t afford to lose.
Why Would a Will Be Contested?
There are several reasons that a will contest might arise after a death. Some individuals might write a last will and testament once and then never touch it again, while others may change their will at an advanced age. In the first scenario, the will might be contested because it contains out of date information, or be confusing. The second scenario may lead to the will being contested on the grounds of coercion, or a loved one not being of “sound mind” when creating or updating the will.
Other scenarios that might lead to a will contest are when blended families don’t believe the will leaves them what they were expecting, or when children or others have been excluded from a will. Additional complications arise when someone creates his or her own last will, without using an experienced estate planning attorney.
The First Step When a Will Is Contested
If someone threatens to contest your loved one’s will, it is essential to consult an experienced probate litigation attorney who can advise you about your rights, as soon as possible. Seasoned attorneys know how to begin collecting evidence and documents in support of your claims and can advise you of the strengths and weaknesses of your position. If someone has filed to contest a will, you need a highly-qualified law firm on your side to protect your rights.
Sometimes, individuals might assume that they can reason with family members to drop a contested will case, but this rarely works. It’s in your best interests to work with an attorney as quickly as possible upon learning that your loved one’s will has been contested. An experienced probate litigation attorney can help you build a case and prepare you for what to expect if the will contest proceeds. Evidence quickly becomes stale, and many rights can be lost if prompt action is not taken.
Examining a Contested Will
In all cases of a contested will, it’s important to examine all available documents relating to the will and the estate. For example, if the mental state of the individual who signed the last will and testament is being questioned, medical records can become a crucial part of your case. What they reveal about the person’s diagnoses, as well as the time that lapsed between the time your loved one was examined by a healthcare professional and the time that he or she signed the will, are often important. Financial records, such as bank or investment statements, often also play a key role.
A seasoned attorney with expertise in the area of contested wills can help you interview witnesses and gather documentation necessary to support your case. With the right legal support, you can help honor the true wishes of your deceased loved one.
Why Working With an Experienced Attorney Is Crucial
When disputes involve multiple family members, the conversations surrounding a will contest can become emotionally charged very quickly. You, too, may have an emotional response to the dispute.
You don’t need the added stress and aggravation of worrying about how to resolve disagreements regarding your loved one’s will. Hand over the reins to an accomplished probate litigation attorney as soon as you learn about a potential contested will, so that you can focus on grieving rather than being staying up at night fretting about a legal dispute. A good probate attorney will help put your mind at rest!
Contact an experienced Michigan probate attorney at Barron, Rosenberg, Mayoras & Mayoras as soon as possible. Reach us at (248) 641-7070, or through our Contact page, in order to protect your rights and the wishes of your deceased loved one. Our initial consultation is done at no charge. An understanding and dedicated attorney experienced in will contests can help you manage this legal dispute as quickly and effectively as possible. We are there for you when you can’t afford to lose.