Because the testator, or the person who authors a will, is no longer around to voice his or her thoughts or explain his or her decisions regarding who is given what, situations may arise that lead you to question a will and its contents. You cannot, however, contest a will simply because you are displeased with the way assets are allocated, but there are a number of valid grounds you may be able to use to do so. For example, you may be able to dispute a will in the following circumstances.
It is not uncommon for people in St. Paul to feel blindsided by the wills of their deceased relatives and loved ones. There are many reasons why you may take issue with your inheritance. If you are receiving an inheritance that doesn't seem right or you do not agree with an inheritance someone else is receiving, you should learn how to contest a will. This can help you to avoid unnecessary distress and conflict with your relatives.
Wills are legal documents intended to dictate how someone wishes to distribute their assets after he or she passes on, but for various reasons, family members of the deceased sometimes have reason to contest a will's contents. The process has obvious complications, with perhaps the most obvious being that the author of the will is no longer available to answer questions about why certain assets were allocated certain ways. This can cause considerable strife within a family, and this is particularly true when one family member receives more than another for reasons that aren't immediate apparent. If you are trying to legally contest a will, you may find it useful to understand the following four commonly cited reasons for doing so.
There is a range of circumstances that can lead up to the contestment of a will. Significant alterations, disinheritance of children or relatives and other unusual circumstances will at least raise eyebrows, and in some cases, lead to contestment. One of the most common arguments offered in support is that the decedent's diminished capacity was exploited. These are the criteria that constitute diminished capacity.
If you have a parent or loved one who has passed away, the stress of the situation may minimize some of the legal proceedings that will take place. One of these, however, is the review and execution of the will. You may find that it has been unexpectedly altered prior to your father's passing to hand over the majority of his estate to one of his nurses or a sibling. In such a situation, you will naturally want to seek recourse. If you are considering contesting the will, there are a few things you should know first.
For many families, the death of a loved one brings not only grief, but also contention and acrimony. Here are three factors that can cause contentious disputes between family members and other parties with interest in an estate:
Even the most carefully crafted wills can still run into legal issues after a loved one passes away. Whether it's due to hurt feelings by those left out of the will -- or legitimate invalidating concerns -- there are plenty of cases where Minnesota residents have wills that end up being disputed.
When men and women become concerned about how the people they love in life will be cared for and how the assets they have cultivated in life will be distributed after their death, they may execute a will. A will may be carefully drawn up in an attorney's office or scribbled on the back of a napkin. And although the individual who has created the will may intend for the document to have a completely binding legal effect, the individual's loved ones may find themselves disputing its creation, contents or practical consequences in the wake of the individual's death.
Twin Cities readers who tuned into a previous discussion about probate litigation involving the Catholic order known as the Legion of Christ may be interested to hear about recent developments in a separate but similar case. The first case involved a will contest initiated by the son of a man who donated more than $1 million in retirement funds to the order. Acting as executor of his father's estate, the son claimed that the order engaged in coercion and exercised undue influence to convince his father to make the sizable donation.
Nobody likes to see a criminal profit from illicit activity, even when it comes to probate proceedings. Twin Cities readers may be familiar with so-called "slayer statutes" that act to bar convicted murderers from benefiting from the estates of their victims. In one high profile case, the invocation of a slayer statute has led to a no holds barred will contest that has some potential beneficiaries contemplating an effort to paint the most likely heir as a conspirator to a murder plot.