Bad Axe probate attorneys provide assistance when a will is created so you can reduce the chances that your last will and testament will be contested and your wishes not respected. We also provide representation during the probate process. We can represent an executor of an estate or heirs or beneficiaries who want to maximize the chances a will can be successfully probated so the stated wishes of the deceased are respected.
Working with an attorney to make a will is important because sometimes during the probate process, there are times when someone will wish to contest a will. When a person decides to contest a will, there is a possibility that the court will determine the will is not a valid one and thus should not be probated. This can be a big problem for those who stood to inherit who may not get the assets that they were expecting.
We can provide assistance in situations where a will is being contested and we can help both those who wish to contest a will and those who wish to defend a will. Among the assistance that we can provide is to help all parties involved in the probate process to ensure they understand the circumstances under which the validity of a will can be challenged. While there are many reasons why a will could be contested, five of the most common reasons why people challenge wills include the following.
The Will Was Made While the Deceased Was of Unsound Mind
If dementia or any mental ailment caused a person to become unable to think clearly or act of his own volition, the affected person cannot create a legally valid will. If a person who is of unsound mind attempts to create a last will and testament, that will should be successfully contested if it can be proved that it was made when its creator was mentally unfit.
There is an Updated Will and the Will Being Presented for Probate was Repudiated
When there are multiple versions of a will, it can be very difficult to determine which is the enforceable one. When it is clear which will is newer, there still could be confusion over whether the updated will was a complete repudiation of the old will or was simply an addition or modification. Ideally, the person who created the updated will made clear what his wishes were. An experienced attorney can help those who update their wills to express their preferences. However, if the person who made the will did not express his preferences clearly, this can result in a will being contested due to the confusion over which will is valid.
The Will Was Made Under Conditions of Duress
When someone is forced into creating a will, the will that was made under duress can be contested. If it is successfully proved that it was made under duress, then the will should not be probated. This can sometimes occur when a caretaker essentially forces a person to change his or her will.
The Will Was Made Under Conditions of Fraud
If the person who created a will was tricked into making it, then it should also not be valid and a will contest proving fraud should be successful.
The Will is Not a Legitimate and Valid One
If a will was not actually created by a deceased person in accordance with the law, then it also should be successfully contested. Sometimes, fake holographic wills (handwritten wills) are submitted to be probated. Evidence showing that the will is not a legitimate one should result in the court declining to probate the will.
Getting Help from Bad Axe Probate Attorneys
Bad Axe probate attorneys at Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle can provide personalized one-on-one help to all parties involved in the probate process. While it is always important to be represented by an experienced attorney, it can be especially vital to have a lawyer in situations where the validity of a will is challenged.
Our experienced legal team can represent you if you wish to contest a will because you do not actually believe the will is a valid one. We can also represent you if you are an heir or beneficiary and you want to defend your inheritance or if you are an executor of an estate and you want to defend the will as a true reflection of the wishes of the deceased. To find out more about the ways in which our legal team can assist you with any legal issues related to a will contest during the probate process, give us a call at (989) 872-5601 or contact us online today.