What You Should Know About Contesting a Will
The death of a parent can be a difficult time. These times are made easier if your loved one had a will, power of attorney, and full state plan. Even though you and your siblings are grieving together, past differences can crop up and money is usually the culprit.
If you discover that you have been cut out of a will or were shortchanged in some way, you may want to sue the estate and have your day in court.
But before you make the decision to move forward, there are many things to consider. First of all, do you have standing? This means will the person named in the lawsuit be personally affected by the outcome of the case? You cannot proceed with a will contest if you do not have standing.
If you do have standing to contest a will, you must file the contest in a timely manner. In the state of Oklahoma that is 3 months from the time the will was admitted to probate. If it has been longer than 3 months, you are barred from filing a contest.
If you have satisfied the requirements of standing and timeliness, then you can move forward with establishing the grounds for the contest. Proving the grounds of a will contest is difficult. Did the decedent has adequate mental capacity at the time the will was signed? Was the decedent unduly influenced into making the will? Was the will properly signed and, if necessary, notarized?
Invalidating a will is difficult. It is presumed that if a person took the time to make a will, then it is most likely valid.
Before you contact your attorney you should think through the issues that come with contesting a will. This article explains all of the financial and emotional concerns that can emerge should you decide to go to court.