As difficult as the subject may be, sometimes questions arise as to the validity, or lack thereof, of an individual’s Last Will and Testament. A Will Contest or Challenge is a legal proceeding in which arguments are made concerning the enforceability of a Last Will and Testament of someone who has died (the Decedent). This is an estate dispute that is heard by and argued before the Pennsylvania Orphans’ Court.
While these are often emotional and very personal matters, contesting a Will is a legal matter. Basically, challenges can be made on three bases: that the Decedent “lacked capacity” at the time his or her Will was drafted; that the document in question was a result of “undue influence” or “coercion”; or that the signature on document is a fraud or forgery.
Why Do Will Contests Happen?
Every situation is unique. However, if there’s one thing that we’ve learned over the years, when it comes to families fighting over money things can get ugly quickly. Whether you find yourself contesting or defending the validity of a Will, keep in mind that these are not simple, easy matters. Litigation can be costly and time consuming. Likewise, the emotional toil these matters can inflict on a family can be difficult.
We Handle a Wide Spectrum of Estate-Related Litigation Issues:
- Orphan’s Court Litigation
- Will Contests & Trust Challenges
- Trustee Negligence & Malfeasance
- Elder Abuse & Fiduciary Fraud
- Guardianship Matters
- Protection of Minors and Incapacitated Individuals
We have over 25 years of Orphans’ Court litigation experience and all of the necessary resources needed to research, develop and litigate your matter to a successful conclusion. Contact American Wills & Estates today for a free consultation at 412-381-7370 or by using our online inquiry form.