When a loved one dies, unfortunately, disagreement over terms and distributions in the deceased’s will can turn into a bitter feud that cannot easily be settled without intervention from a neutral third party. A legal challenge to the terms of a will or trust through estate litigation is called contesting the will. If you successfully challenge a will, all or some of the terms of that will can be legally invalidated.
Legal Grounds for Challenging a Will in Illinois
1. Validity of Documents
2. Mental Capacity and Influence
3. Interpretation of Documents
Challenging a will and proving that the will is invalid can be difficult and very expensive. If you believe the will or trust of a loved one are tainted in some way, or if someone in your family is challenging the terms of a will, trust, or other estate documents, it may be wise to consult an experienced estate litigation attorney to find out how to protect your rights and your interests.
If a will is successfully challenged and the will or trust is determined to be invalid, there can be several different results. The court will consider all the factors to determine how the deceased’s estate should be settled.
1. If a will is successfully contested and there is a previous valid will, that earlier will may be declared valid.
2. If the will is invalidated and no other will exists, the deceased’s estate may be distributed according to Illinois intestate succession laws.
3. If only certain provisions of a will are invalidated and the remained for the will is still legally valid, assets in the invalidated portions of the will may be distributed according to Illinois state laws.
• How Can I Prevent Challenges To My Will?
• What Is Undue Influence – And How It Impacts Your Will
An Illinois estate litigation lawyer can protect your rights and your interests if you are considering challenging a will. Consulting an experienced probate, trust and estates attorney in Chicago or Lombard can give you advice and discuss your legal options. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-687-9100.