Bad Axe probate attorneys provide help during the probate process to make certain that the wishes of the deceased are respected. The probate process is the process by which the validity of a will is determined and assets are distributed to new owners. If there is no will and there is no other estate plan in place, intestacy law will apply and assets will be distributed to close family in accordance with state laws.
The probate process helps ensure that the deceased person actually has control over his or her legacy by ensuring that instructions provided by the deceased are followed. However, there are circumstances where the probate process does not go smoothly. There are cases where accusations are made suggesting the will that has been submitted to be probated should not actually be probated at all.
If there is a problem with the way a will was created, this could result in the will being contested. Contesting a will can be a complicated prospect, and those involved in a will contest should talk with Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle to get help in proving that a will is not valid.
The executor of an estate and heirs or beneficiaries should also get legal help in the event of a will contest. Our firm can provide assistance to anyone involved in the probate process when the validity of a will is challenged, so give us a call to find out how the Bad Axe probate attorneys at Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle can help you.
Contesting a Will: What Does It Mean?
Contesting a will is a legal process in which questions are raised about whether a last will and testament is valid or not. A person who believes that a will is not a legally valid part of a deceased person’s estate plan can file with the court to contest a will.
The person who is claiming the will is not valid is going to have an obligation to prove there is a problem. The executor of an estate and heirs or beneficiaries will typically counter-argue the claim the will isn’t a true reflection of the wishes of the deceased. The court will need to decide if a problem with the will was proved and will determine the outcome of the will contest based on the evidence that is presented in court.
Grounds for Contesting a Will
Michigan has strict laws for what must happen in order for a last will and testament to be legally valid and in order for a will to be probated. Anyone who is making a will should become familiar with the state requirements, including a mandate that a will be signed and witnessed.
If a will is not witnessed and the other state-mandated requirements are not fulfilled, this does not necessarily mean the will is never going to be considered valid and probated. Holographic wills are allowed, as long as basic criteria are met. The basic criteria for a valid holographic will generally stipulate the will should be signed and dated and should be written in the handwriting of the deceased.
There are other grounds for holding that a will is not valid and shouldn’t be probated. If a person was coerced into making a will due to threats or other pressures, the will that the deceased was forced into making won’t be valid. If a person is convinced by fraud to make a will, the will also won’t be enforced. And, if the person who made the will was no longer of sound mind at the time when he created and signed the will, it is also possible that this could result in a will being successfully contested.
Getting Help from A Bad Axe Probate Attorney
A Bad Axe probate attorney can provide invaluable help in taking action to contest a will when you believe that the last will and testament isn’t what a deceased person would have actually wanted. Whether a will was created after a senior became senile or as a result of pressure from a caregiver or for other similar reasons, our legal team will work hard to help ensure that no invalid will is probated. We can also provide representation to executors, heirs or beneficiaries and other interested parties in situations where a will contest is being fought.
To find out more about how Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle can help with all aspects of creating a will and with all aspects of the probate process, give out firm a call at (866)237-8129 or contact us online today.