4 Ways To Contest A Will

  • Estate Litigation
how do I contest a will | estate and probate legal group

Losing someone close to you is emotionally draining. On top of that, you may have legal issues concerning their estate. The reading of the will is when the attorney discloses what beneficiaries will inherit from the estate of the person who passed away. But what happens if you believe there is a mistake in the will? Our clients often ask us how to contest a will.

Arguments to Contest a Will

You must prove why you believe the document is incorrect. To contest a will, you must attack its credibility.

Here are 4 examples of ways to discredit a will:

  1. The will was not executed correctly. Perhaps it was not appropriately signed, witnessed or notarized by the right people. A quick message on a napkin does not usually hold up in court as a credible will.
  2. The deceased person was not mentally able to write the will. This means they had diminished capacity due to age or health. If the person did not understand what was happening around them, they might not have understood what they were signing.
  3. The person was under duress. It is illegal to force a person to write and sign a will a certain way. Usually, someone who has power over them, such as a caretaker or family member, uses pressure or manipulation to force them to make changes.
  4. If there is extreme disagreement. One example is if one child is not named in the will, they may believe they have been accidentally left out. Without a letter of explanation included in the will, the heir can contest it.

Not everyone can contest a will. Only those named beneficiaries, beneficiaries named in a previous version, or potential heirs can contest a will. If you feel something is wrong, contact an experienced estate litigation attorney to begin the process.

Steps to Contesting a Will

If you feel that the will of a loved one is inaccurate, you have the right to contest it. But don’t forget; there is a statute of limitation stating the timeframe for contesting the will. Your first step is to hire an estate litigation attorney who can walk you through the emotionally draining legal process.

The attorney may explain the possibility of the deceased person having a no-contest clause. If this is the case, you must determine if the fight is worth a possible worse outcome.

Your estate litigation attorney will file a claim with the probate court and present your case based on one of the reasons above – or for another reason that you believe the will is incorrect. Your attorney will present all arguments to the courts, explaining exactly why you are contesting the will and what you want to happen.

The courts will review and make a decision.

Oak Brook Estate Litigation Attorney

If you have questions about contesting a will, an experienced Illinois estate litigation lawyer can advise you on the best options for your situation. To talk to a qualified estate attorney in Oak Brook, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835. 

We serve Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.