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Determining Whether to Contest a Will
There are many situations in which you may want to contest the validity of a will. Perhaps you have noticed that before the death of your loved one, he or she seemed isolated and anxious, spending time with only one or two people. Or maybe you do not believe that the will reflects the attitude or mental state of the testator. It is even possible that your loved one promised you something specific and then did not include you or willed it to someone else, making you suspicious of the circumstances in which he or she signed.
These are all valid reasons to suspect a problem. If you live in the Northridge area, the Law Offices of Savin & Bursk can help you determine whether your reasons for contest are valid—and, if so, provide you with a lawyer.
Reasons for Contesting a Will
Suspicion is not enough to win a suit, but provable suspicion is enough to file one. There are few provable, valid reasons with which a will contest attorney can help you, including the following:
- Your loved one was mentally incapable of understanding the contents, or effects, of the will.
- The will was fraudulently signed; he or she may have been given the will and told it was a medical or other legal document.
- Your loved one was pressured or influenced so much that the will was signed under duress.
- The will signing did not follow state laws and is, therefore, not valid.
- Your loved one was suffering delusions before death, which influenced the writing and signing of the will.
These things are difficult, but not impossible, to prove. If you live in Northridge, CA, or a nearby area and believe you have, or can find, evidence of any of these situations, it is in the best interest of you and your deceased loved one to contact the Law Offices of Savin & Bursk, share what you know, and begin an investigation.
How to Contest Wills
An interested party must file a claim using the services of a lawyer. This means that you must first be an interested party, someone who would have inherited something had the will been valid (a beneficiary) as well as have evidence to back up your claim.
If the will is upheld at the end of the investigation, there is nothing you can do. However, if the investigation finds that you are correct, one of two things will happen. If your loved one signed a different will previous to the contested one, it will be considered the valid will. If he or she had no previous will, his or her assets and belongings will be divided according to state regulations.