Can You Challenge a Will After the Probate Process?
In the cases of multiple wills, you will want to get your case before the judge. Once a will is accepted as the final document by the court, you will need to file a petition to invalidate it. This process is not easy, and it requires the help of an estate litigation attorney.
Adjudicating the Will in Probate Court
Probate court validates the legitimacy of a will, and it allows the beneficiaries to get access to the money and other inheritances. In the cases of multiple wills, the right will is usually the first one to reach probate. However, if there are competing wills, you have several actions to contest it. You need to file an action to invalidate the will. With these cases, the judge will hear the reasons why the will is illegitimate.
Contest a Will
There are many common complaints to contest a will. In some cases, the will can be challenged if the deceased lacked the cognitive ability to make a will or was coerced into signing the document. If the will is a forgery or the witnesses are fraudulent, then the will can be challenged. Wills that do not comply with the law can also be considered invalid. Finally, if a more recent will comes to court, the previous version can be contested.
When the action is filed, the judge will hear all complaints and review the evidence. At this time, the judge will determine the will’s merit according to New Jersey state law. However, in most cases, a will is probated without incident, and it respects the last wishes of the deceased. If you are thinking about contesting a will, you will need the help of an experienced estate litigation attorney.
In any challenge to a will, you want to preserve the evidence in your case. However, not all contested wills challenge their legitimacy. In some cases, you want to be certain that a specific stipulation adheres to the law.
Contesting a Will After Probate
There are several obstacles to challenge a will. Once the will has entered probate, an executor will begin to distribute the assets. An heir can spend, sell or keep part of his or her inheritance. After this time, it can be difficult to get those assets back. Probate laws often have a statute of limitation, or deadline, to challenge the will. Challenges to the will can also extend for several years. Furthermore, some wills include a no-contest clause, and you might not be able to challenge it in court.
With these obstacles in your case, you want to have an experienced attorney helping you out. You will need to find witnesses who will come to testify on your behalf. In other cases, evidentiary issues may arise that could impede your challenge in court.
Why Contest a Will After Probate?
To contest a will, you want to have a legitimate concern to bring to court. One of the biggest reasons is the discovery of a more recent will. In this case, you will need to provide that the document is legitimate and it is a more recent version than the probated will. If the will was the product of criminal conduct, you must have evidence to back up this claim. In some cases, an individual can even show up to court with evidence that he or she is a child of the deceased and demand part of the inheritance.
While these are valid reasons to challenge a will after probate, there is no guarantee that you will win your case. An experienced attorney will help you navigate through the legal process, so you can see if you have a valid claim to contest the will.
Move Forward With Your Claim
You want to make sure to meet all the deadlines to contest the will. Your attorney can help review the case and the evidence with you. In any case, you want to have all the documents put together that can demonstrate the validity of your claim.
If you need help with a probated will, you want to find the right attorney for your case. At the Knee Law Firm, LLC, our team can help you during this complicated process. Contact our office in Hackensack at (201) 996-1200 to schedule a free consultation.