The law firm of Rick Dane Moore and Associates has over thirty years’ experience, and we have litigated many will contests and we know how to win these cases. The most important aspect in winning is thoroughness in preparation.
Also, unfortunately, Mr. Moore has personal experience in these kinds of cases and was involved in two painful and separate court contests involving his mother’s and aunt’s estates. We know that these cases can be painful and full of stress as they involve relatives and tend to become very emotional. We are here to help you get through this difficult time with as little stress as possible, and to help everyone to move on with their lives. In matters involving contested wills, it is best to get the case finished as quickly as possible, and we are ready and able to help you to do just that.
Why Would Someone Contest a Will?
A will can be contested by a person who is left out of the will by accident or mistake but who should have been included in the will. For example, if a man forgot to mention his child from a first marriage in his will, then that child can contest the will and might be entitled to a share of the man’s estate.
A will can also be contested if there is proof that the person was incapacitated mentally at the time the will was drafted, such as if the person had a known mental illness or was suffering from a degenerative or other disease that affects cognitive abilities.
A will can also be contested if it is believed by any party who was left out of the will or who is an heir or beneficiary that the deceased person was coerced or threatened or compelled to make the will or make changes to the will.
Wills can be contested if they were executed incorrectly or if the person serving as a Witness or Notary for the will is also named as a beneficiary.
The law also allows “other questions” relating to the validity of a will to be raised, so you may be able to contest a will even if it does not fit neatly into one of the categories above.
What should I do to prepare for an appointment to contest a will?
First, it is important to get together all former versions of any wills and trusts, and the most current versions available. Also, please bring any medical records because they are important in determining the deceased person’s mental and emotional ability to make a valid will or trust. This is often the issue in most contested will cases: did this person have the ability to make a new will, and did he intend to do so? Medical records and copies of the previous versions of the will help us and the Court to determine this.
You should also write a brief narrative describing who, what, when, where and why things happened. Take your time, and use as many details as you can remember. Include the names of any witnesses you can remember, and their contact information if you have it. This will help frame the theory of the case and will help your lawyer save you time and money in legal fees. It will also give us a place to start in explaining your options to you and in deciding how to go forward with your claim.
We understand that dealing with a court case is the last thing you or your family want to do in this difficult time, and will work hard to relieve as much of the stress as we can, as well as getting results that are fair and are what the person who wrote the will really intended.