Where There's a Will, There May Be a Contest

       By: Lance Sharp
Posted: 2008-08-04 05:08:09
Generally speaking, when people make out a will, they want certain things done with their estate. They include certain wishes and desires they want carried out when they pass on. In most cases, wills pave the way for the smooth disposition of an estate, but in other cases there are major problems.When there are problems with a will, they may arise due to family conflicts and/or possibly problems for the beneficiaries. Where an estate is the subject of controversy and there are numerous assets to disperse to multiple beneficiaries, always retain the services of a qualified attorney. The estate doesn't have to be a big one for a dispute to arise. These situations are never easy to resolve, and this area of law is a complex one best dealt with by attorneys who know what they are doing.There are two ways to contest a will. The first way is to take exception to whoever is applying to Probate Court to be the executor or administrator for the estate. Some of the reasons may have to do with the person's qualifications to serve in that position, or the person may have a criminal record which would disqualify them.It's important to understand the distinction between challenging the executor and challenging the will itself. Challenging the executor is not disputing the terms of the will. It simply means the challenge is being instituted because the family has questions/concerns about the potential executor's abilities etc.Challenging the will and its validity usually centers around the family disputing whether the will is actually the correct one. In cases like this there are several contests that an attorney well versed in this area can implement. The first one is revocation of the will and that simply means there is a more recent copy of the will (the old one being revoked) rather than the one being offered for probate.A trickier challenge is lack of capacity. This means the person who wrote the will wasn't mentally competent to do so. If lack of capacity is successfully proved, the will is automatically considered invalid. A co-companion to this category of contests is the undue influence challenge.With undue influence, the contest is that the person did not write it of his own free will. This can happen when mental incapacity is present or if a person was under the influence of drugs etc. The law states that the person who wrote the will must have done so with the intention to create a will, and that the instructions in it are definitely his. If someone can prove the person was forced into writing something that didn't outline his express intentions, the will is invalid.Don't risk trying to contest a will on your own. The legal ins and outs are far too complex to take the chance of losing what you consider to be your rightful inheritance. Consult with a qualified attorney.Lance Sharp of The Sharp Firm is an Austin personal injury lawyer specializing in personal injury and accident law in Austin Texas. The lawyers at The Sharp Firm have a collective 40 years experience in being Austin injury lawyers. To learn more visit http://www.sharpfirm.com
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