Many individuals draw up Wills to ensure that their assets are distributed to their heirs and desired charities in accordance with their final wishes. However, Wills are not always the rock-solid documents that they seem.
Individuals may contest a Will if they worry that it has been tampered with, if the individual was not of sound mind when they signed it, or if they are unhappy with their allotment. Not all of these reasons are legitimate grounds for contesting a Will.
If you need assistance, contact a Georgia Will contest lawyer at Bridges & Farmer by calling (678) 395 – 7506 for a free consultation. We can help you determine if you have a case.
Wills can be contested on multiple grounds. Depending on your reason for contesting a Will, you may have a valid claim that our Georgia Will contest lawyers can assist with.
In Georgia, a Will can be contested if the person who signed the Will did not have capacity when they signed. For example, if the person was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and couldn’t have understood the repercussions of their decision.
In some cases, the person creating the Will may have been conned into doing so. They may have been fraudulently represented or coerced into signing a Will that they would not have otherwise signed.
If a Will was not properly executed by the attorney who created it, then you can contest on the terms that it cannot be valid. For example, if it lacks two witness signatures or if there was no notarial copy ever made.
If a new Will is discovered that postdates the previous Will, it will negate the older Will and the newer one must be passed, unless it was fraudulently signed or the person was incapable of signing.
Contesting a Will is a complicated process that delays probate for all who stand to inherit. This may alienate family or friends who want to receive their inheritance immediately, even if it is not in the best interests of all involved.
In many cases, settlements are reached. You will receive a smaller payout than you would have received from the estate, but you will be saving on legal fees and potentially avoid damaging relationships.
However, if you continue to contest a Will, then it will be taken to court with the help of a Georgia Will contest lawyer. They will argue your case before a court. If you win, you will be awarded the assets you have claimed and any physical property as soon as reasonably practical.
Costs to contest a Will vary based on your reasoning for contesting a Will. The longer the proceedings continue, the more you will be paying in legal fees. This should be a consideration when determining whether or not to continue with contesting a Will.
In Georgia, the average cost to contest a Will ranges from $10,000 to $50,000, with many cases taking two or more years to litigate.
If you’re unsure if it is worth it, contact Bridges & Farmer today for a free consultation. We’ll help you determine how much you could inherit if you win your claim.
In Georgia, “any interested party” can contest a Will. “Interested party” refers to an individual who stands to inherit from the estate and would be affected by the validity of the Will.
For example, children of the deceased can contest a Will if they have been excluded from the Will or if their portion has been reduced due to fraud by another party.
Alternatively, a charity could contest a Will if the individual pledged money to them but it was not in a new copy of their Will made on their deathbed.
If a child is a minor child, they do not need to contest the Will. Georgia has a law in place to ensure that surviving minor children receive support for at least one year after the death of the individual.
It is more common for adult children to be excluded from a Will. This could be for personal reasons, such as a falling out between the deceased and the child, or if they do not trust their child with money. If one child is particularly wealthy, the parent may not want to give them an equal share since their siblings need it more.
In these cases, a child can contest a Will. However, they will need to prove that the omission was due to a legitimate issue with the Will. For example, one of their siblings coerced their parent into disinheriting the other.
If you are a child looking to contest your parent’s Will, contact Bridges & Farmer’s Georgia Will contest lawyers. We’ll help you determine if your case is valid.
No contest clauses may be included by the individual who drafts a Will to help reduce family tensions or greedy inheritors. The person who created the Will is warning beneficiaries that they risk losing their share of the estate if they contest the Will.
Thus, beneficiaries are dissuaded from contesting the Will unless it is based on one of Georgia’s legitimate legal reasons.
A Will contest lawyer can help you maintain family relations while ensuring that the intentions of your loved one are fulfilled. Georgia probate lawyers at Bridges & Farmer will work with you throughout the process, even dealing with family who will not listen to your reasoning.
Contact us today to book a consultation.