Avid watchers of television crime dramas have undoubtedly run across one or more shows centered on acrimonious family disputes involving a testator’s will. Such offerings often spotlight alleged wrongdoing of a serious nature that now promises results so-called will contestants say were not remotely intended by the instrument’s creator.
Concededly, a will contest can sometimes be a fiery and ornery affair, with some underhanded and flatly illegal conduct being involved that did indeed thwart a testator’s intent. Conversely, though, and in many other cases, a contest might involve something a bit more pedestrian than that. A will might be challenged because it was arguably not properly witnessed. Maybe its drafting particulars did not duly comply with state law requirements. Perhaps there is some issue relevant to its signing.
In either case, the decision to contest a California will is not something to be lightly considered. We expressly note that at the long-established Bay Area Law Offices of Connie Yi. We stress on the website of our proven estate planning law firm that will contests can be expensive and additionally “put great strain on family relationships.”
Imagine, for example, a situation where some family members want to see a will duly probated and ultimately administered pursuant to its terms, while others seek to challenge it based on some alleged deficiency. That is not often the recipe for continued amicability.
Still, there are certainly instances where legitimate concerns attach to a will. Questions can arise concerning fraud or coercion, forgery, a testator’s incapacity, unexpected revisions and so forth.
Parties seeking to either contest a will or defend its legitimacy might reasonably want to contact a practiced estate administration attorney without delay to fully understand their options and to implement a well-considered legal strategy.