When Do You Need a Will Contest Lawyer?
The typical reasons for needing a will contest lawyer are as follows:
Incapability to Form a Will
This refers to the testator’s (the person who made the will) mental capacity (this is sometimes called “being of sound mind”). In general, a person must be able to comprehend their possessions, their value, their natural heirs, the nature of their gifts, and the recipients of those gifts. You may contest the will if you believe the testator was unaware of those three concepts.
Fraud, Undue Influence, or Forgery
A will can be challenged if the testator made it under duress (by being forced to do so), was duped into making it under false pretenses or had their signature forged. Successful will contests are typically those in which there is proof of undue influence, and the decedent makes a sudden and extraordinary modification to their estate plan.
It is appropriate to contest a will if there is one that is more recent than the one that is being probated. When there is doubt about whose will is the most recent, that can also be a reason to oppose it.
Not meeting state requirements. What must be in a will is governed by state law. If such conditions are not met, the will might not be valid.
For instance, although some states do not allow handwritten wills without witnesses, others do.
A will must have two witnesses in some states and three in others.
Another complication is that the will must be legitimate according to the laws of the state where the testator resided. As a result, if the testator lived in Texas but the will was created in Wisconsin and followed Wisconsin law rather than Texas law, it might not be enforceable.
You should see a will contest attorney if you’re unsure of your legal standing.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Will Contest Lawyer in the U.S.?
The costs of contesting a will vary based on the particulars of your case because each will dispute is unique. However, legal fees for most competitions will run into thousands of dollars, with typical retainers of $5,000 to $10,000.
What to Look For in a Will Contest Lawyer
It’s crucial to realize that while most lawyers can technically manage a will dispute, your best chance of victory comes from hiring a lawyer with extensive experience managing these particular matters.
For instance, a lawyer specializing in tax law might not have a thorough understanding of how contests will operate. Find a lawyer who specializes in will contest cases first.
Most firms offer free consultations, allowing you to learn more about their methods and gauge your comfort level with the will contest lawyer.
Most legal consultations are also “no obligation,” which means you don’t have to decide to hire a will contest lawyer before speaking with them. This gives you the freedom to weigh your options before making a choice.
How to Prepare for Your Consultation With a Will Contest Lawyer
Never be scared to ask any questions you may have during a consultation. You can talk about your case, but you should also take this opportunity to learn more about the lawyer and their background.
Take into account asking some of the following queries:
- What sort of cases have you handled with will contests?
- Can you describe a case you handled that was comparable to mine and your strategy?
- How would you charge me for your services if I hired you?
- What difficulties do you see in my situation?
- What opportunities might you look into if you take on my case?
These are just a few questions you can ask a will contest lawyer, but feel free to add any others you have that are more pertinent to your case to the list.