Practice Area - Will & Trust Contests

Will & Trust Contests

Will and trust contests are legal proceedings that arise when estate beneficiaries disagree about the distribution of assets, question the estate’s financial affairs, or dispute who receives an inheritance. In these cases, certain family members often argue that the will or trust was altered in a way that unfavorably impacted their interests, and attribute this to undue influence or pressure exerted on the estate plan creator.

Such contests can be emotionally charged and complex, involving a range of legal issues, including the validity of the estate plan, the interpretation of its provisions, and the duties of the estate executor. In many cases, the stakes are high, with significant financial assets and properties at risk. As a result, it is important to seek out a knowledgeable and experienced law firm that can guide you through the process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

At DBL Trust Law Attorneys, we understand the intricacies of will and trust contests, and have a proven track record of success in representing clients in these matters. Our legal team has a deep understanding of estate planning law and the relevant statutes, and can provide you with the strategic advice and advocacy you need to protect your interests.

Whether you are seeking to challenge an estate plan, defend against a challenge, or remove an executor who is acting negligently, we can help you navigate the legal landscape with confidence. We will work closely with you to understand your goals and priorities, and develop a customized strategy that is tailored to your unique circumstances.

In summary, will and trust contests are complex legal proceedings that require the expertise of a skilled law firm. DBL Trust Law Attorneys has the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through this challenging process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

At DBL Trust Law Attorneys, we use a contingency fee agreement, which means that we do not charge any upfront fees. We only get paid if we win your case.

The timeline for resolving a case varies greatly depending on the circumstances. Some cases settle quickly, within a few weeks or months, while others can take several years and go to trial, and even be appealed. While we cannot guarantee a specific timeline, most cases we handle are resolved within six to nine months. The timeline for resolving a case can be impacted by several factors, such as the complexity of the case, the amount of evidence involved, the cooperation of the other party, and the willingness of both parties to negotiate and settle.

If you are a beneficiary of the will or trust, you have the legal right to obtain a copy of the estate plan. However, if you are not a beneficiary, you do not have this right. Yes, we can request a copy of the estate plan on your behalf. In most cases, the other party will comply and provide us with a copy. If the other party refuses to provide a copy of the estate plan, we may have to file a lawsuit to force compliance. However, this is not always necessary and will depend on the circumstances of your case.

If you receive a letter giving you 120 days to contest the estate plan, it is important to seek legal advice immediately if you plan to challenge the plan. Waiting beyond the 120-day limit could limit your legal options and prevent you from challenging the most recent version of the plan. We can provide legal advice and representation for those who wish to contest an estate plan. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and determine the best course of action. To make the most of your consultation, you should bring any relevant documents related to the estate plan, as well as a list of any questions or concerns you may have. This will help us better understand your situation and provide you with personalized legal advice.

If you never received a 120-day letter regarding an estate plan, it may still be possible to take legal action. The 120-day letter is a legal requirement in some jurisdictions, but not in others. Therefore, whether or not you received such a letter may not be determinative of your ability to contest an estate plan. Our experiences attorneys can help you understand your legal options, even if you did not receive a 120-day letter. The ability to contest an estate plan depends on various factors, such as the specific laws in your jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. Therefore, it is important to consult with an attorney to discuss your situation and determine the best course of action.

While being a relative may increase your chances of receiving an inheritance, it does not guarantee that you will receive money under an estate plan. People have the legal right to leave their money and property to whomever they choose, and this includes leaving assets to individuals outside of their immediate family. If you believe that you have been unfairly excluded from an estate plan, or that someone who did receive money should not have, you may have a legal claim. It is important to speak with an attorney who specializes in trust and probate litigation to discuss your options and determine the best course of action.

Yes, it can be important. One of the ways that DBL Trust Law Attorneys may contest an estate plan is by examining the mental competency of the person who created it. If there is reason to believe that the person was not of sound mind or lacked the mental capacity to understand the consequences of their actions, the estate plan may be deemed invalid. To do this, we may examine medical records, interview witnesses, and question the lawyer who prepared the plan. We also work with medical and mental health professionals who can provide expert opinions on the person's mental state at the time the estate plan was created. By thoroughly examining an estate plan, we may uncover opportunities to challenge the plan that other firms may overlook. This includes assessing the mental competency of the person who created the plan, as well as other legal grounds for challenging the plan. We will work with you to determine the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case.

The impact of your sibling's criminal past on your case will depend on the specific circumstances involved. If their criminal activities have a direct impact on the estate plan, such as stealing money or threatening your parents to change the plan in their favor, this could work in your favor. At DBL Trust Law Attorneys, we can help you understand the legal options available to you and determine the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case. We have experience in trust and probate litigation and can help you build a strong case to protect your interests.

Bank, retirement, and investment accounts may be included in your parents' estate plan if they are specifically mentioned in the plan and there is a designated beneficiary to inherit those assets. If the beneficiary of a bank, retirement, or investment account is listed outside of the estate plan, the assets will pass directly to that person or people and may not be subject to the terms of the estate plan. It is always best to have an attorney review the facts of your specific situation to determine your legal options. Our team can provide you with a free consultation to review your case and help you understand your legal rights and options.

It may matter, especially if there is contention between estate beneficiaries regarding the joint tenancy arrangement. Joint tenancy arrangements can become a source of contention if the surviving joint tenant(s) are not the same individuals who are designated as beneficiaries in the estate plan. This can sometimes occur when declining parents name a son, daughter, or other party as a joint tenant to handle financial matters. If you are involved in a dispute over joint tenancy property or believe that the arrangement was created under duress or coercion, it is important to speak with an experienced trust and probate litigation attorney. DBL Trust Law Attorneys can help you understand your legal options and determine the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case.

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