“The Legal Representation Your Family Needs During These Tense Proceedings”
Memphis Will Contest Lawyer
The death of a beloved family member can bring the surviving members closer together – or it can ignite simmering tensions and explode into a torrent of bitter feelings and legal disputes. While these disputes are common where the deceased died without leaving a will, they can also arise even where there is a valid will. These disputes usually lead to litigation in court, where the judicial system is called upon to interpret the validity and terms of the deceased’s estate-planning documents.
Will contests are legal proceedings that attack a part of or the entirety of a deceased’s will. Legal representation is highly recommended as these disputes require a thorough understanding of probate law as well as statutes affecting estate plans and their corresponding documents. Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, have the knowledge and dedication to provide exceptional legal representation during these tense proceedings.
Why Would Anyone Want to Contest a Family Member’s Will?
A will is designed to help provide the court and a person’s surviving family members with certainty in the wake of the person’s death by outlining the assets the person owns and to whom the person wishes the assets to pass. Some family members or others may believe that the will does not accurately reflect the wishes of the deceased; others may have more nefarious reasons for wanting to attack the will. But any attack against a will must typically be raised when the will is offered by the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate to the court.
What Types of Challenges Can Be Raised Against a Will?
There are a variety of grounds upon which a will can be attacked. Some may not be available in all cases: the language and nature of the will, the circumstances under which it was created, and other similar issues will determine what specific challenges can be raised in a particular case. Some of the more common challenges include:
Attacking the capacity of the testator:
The testator (the person creating the will; in other words, the deceased) must possess a certain level of awareness and understanding about the document he or she is creating, the assets that are affected, and to whom he or she wishes to bequest those assets. If there are questions about this mental capacity – if, for example, the testator signed his or her will and was declared legally incompetent the next day – a challenge to the will can be raised.
A person is only supposed to have one active will at any one time. When the testator creates multiple wills, all appearing to be valid, a contest can quickly develop to determine which will should be honored.
Codicils to wills:
If a person wishes to change his or her will, he or she will create a codicil to record those changes. They are supposed to follow the same formalities of a will; when they do not, a dispute may arise over whether the information in the codicil should be adhered to or not.
Vague, missing, or illegal terms:
If a will contains flaws – it does not list all assets of the testator, is missing information about certain beneficiaries such that they cannot be identified, or if the will does not comply with the legalities required by statute, a contest can develop to determine if the will should be honored and/or what the specific terms of the will ought to be.
An Experienced Memphis Will Contest Lawyer Can Help You
Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law’s talented will contest lawyers are available to help you in your will contest proceeding. Whether you are challenging the validity of a will or defending your loved one’s intentions as expressed through his or her will, our zealous advocacy and determination can assist you in achieving your goals. Contact us at (901) 388-5805 for experienced assistance.