Were You Cheated Out On An Inheritance?

Updated: Apr 21

Here's How You Can Contest Or Challenge A Suspicious Will

Wills and trusts, as well as the probate procedure in general, can be the most efficient and least time-consuming approach to ensuring that a decedent's assets are distributed to family, friends, and organizations. What happens when there are negative actors involved? Or if the most recent Will or Trust is invalidated because the decedent was unable to execute the documents due to mental or physical incapacity?

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Deception, bribery, and undue control can all be used to persuade people to act against their will. Caregivers, neighbors, and "mates" may create an environment in which family members are either ignored or physically excluded. The evil actors then "help" the individuals prepare a new Will or Trust that excludes the family and solely benefits the wrongdoer.

Many times, people will have well-drafted, well-studied estate documents written during the time they are still capable of creating an estate plan and understanding the implications of their decisions. Strangers intrude into the lives of the sick and elderly, and new estate paperwork frequently arises after the person has died. Unfortunately, you must carry the burden of proof as to the victim of a wicked individual who has fraudulently gained control of your family's assets.

The period following a loved one's death is often a confusing time for surviving family members and loved ones. The legal issues that must be addressed can often overshadow the grieving process. For example, if you have reason to doubt the legitimacy of the decedent's Last Will and Testament, you must act swiftly or eternally waive your right to do so. When the Last Will and Testament document is sent to the Probate Court in the county where the decedent died for probate administration, the time limit for opposing a Will in California is set.

How Does Probate Work?

When someone passes away, their estate is expected to go through probate. If the estate must go through probate, it is determined by the size or value of the estate and how the deceased held title to assets. Certain estate planning options, such as establishing a revocable living trust, can help you avoid probate. If a Will is found, it is submitted with the appropriate probate court, together with a request to open probate and a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased. Probate is used for a variety of reasons, including permitting creditors to initiate litigation against the estate and transferring estate assets to beneficiaries and/or heirs. The first order of business for the probate court is to validate the decedent's Last Will and Testament. This is also the point at which issues about the legitimacy of the will arise.