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Will contest is an objection raised against a deceased person’s will with an attempt to invalidate it. These objections may evaluate if the will reflects the testator’s true intent or question the will’s validity. If successful, a will contest may entirely void the will or null some of its contents.
Who can file a Will Contest?
The general rule under California case law allows the deceased person’s heirs, the will’s specific legatees/named beneficiaries, and creditors the ability to contest the will. Someone who wishes to contest a will must have a financial interest – which may be impaired or benefited by the probate process. The Court will want to know if you would have gotten more money from the estate or a lesser amount for the will that you want to contest.
Grounds to file a will contest
To file a will contest, you must have an acceptable reason or ground. One may challenge a will for numerous grounds including these:
- The deceased person was mentally incompetent or incapacitated when making the will.
- The deceased person was forced to make the will or pressured to include certain parts in the will.
- The deceased person was tricked into making the will.
- There was fraud in the making of the will.
- The deceased person made mistakes in the will.
- The deceased person voided the will.
- The deceased person made a new will.
When can I file a will contest?
California law permits you to file a contest with the court either before or after a will is admitted to probate. There are strict time limitations for filing a will contest. Failing to promptly file a will contest will be fatal to your will contest.
If you believe you have been deprived of your rightful inheritance, call The Law Office of Antoniette Jauregui to make an appointment.