Contesting The Validity Of A Will Or Trust

While a comprehensive estate plan can mitigate conflict among beneficiaries and heirs, disputes may be inevitable, particularly when a will or trust is modified under unusual circumstances.

If you are or should be a named beneficiary of an estate plan, the experienced estate planning and probate attorneys at Zerbe Garner Blondell & Weldon, LLP, can help you protect your legal rights.

Experienced In Will, Trust And Estate Litigation

Our firm, unlike many other estate planning firms, focuses on estate disputes and probate administration. While we provide skilled document drafting services for our clients, including for complex trusts, we are also attorneys who are capable in the courtroom.

As a firm of litigators, we understand how to protect our clients' interests. In addition to will and trust disputes, our experienced attorneys can help you with issues involving guardianship, breach of fiduciary duty and power of attorney disputes. While we attempt to resolve disputes quickly and without unnecessary rancor, we always defend our clients' legal rights.

Grounds For Disputing A Will Or Trust

An unfair division of assets in an estate plan is not a valid reason to have the estate plan declared void. A court must have a legal reason to render will and trust provisions invalid. These reasons include:

  • Undue influence: A beneficiary or heir cannot coerce the testator (the decedent) into changing a will, trust or certain provisions in an estate plan.
  • Duress: Duress involves threatening the physical, emotional and financial well-being of the testator. Duress also includes threats to withhold care.
  • Fraud: Forged signatures, altered documents and other fraud are not legally valid.
  • Capacity: A testator must be of sound mind when creating or amending an estate plan. A lack of capacity — for example, if the testator had late-stage Alzheimer's disease — would render any changes made under such conditions invalid.
  • Undue execution: If a will or trust does not follow state law regarding its creation, it can be rendered null.

Because grounds for contesting a will or trust are dependent upon individual circumstances, you may not be aware of your legal options unless you contact an experienced probate lawyer to discuss your rights.

Schedule A Consultation Today

Will contests can be emotional and stressful. To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced estate and probate litigation lawyers who will guide you through the process, call us at 812-551-0436 or reach us online. From our main office in Lawrenceburg, we represent clients throughout Indiana.