Challenging a will is easier said than done, as you need to have a reason to move forward with the process. In other words, people can't contest a will because they feel like they didn't receive what they deserve.
When a person dies with a will, it generally controls the distribution of their estate. However, it only does this if it is valid. There are a variety of things that could potentially invalidate a will or some of its provisions. When these factors are present, they can be grounds for challenging a will. Will challenges, and how they are resolved, can have major impacts for families and other beneficiaries.
When a loved one passes away, the last thing you want to do is mire the estate in court without good reason. In fact, many people may overlook inappropriate or questionable behavior by an executor or trustee in good faith, assuming that person is simply doing the best he or she can for the situation.
The role of trustee comes with some very serious responsibilities. For example, if you are the beneficiary of a trust, you will expect the trustee to make financial decisions for the trust that are in the best interests of you and any other beneficiaries. Because of this high level of trust that beneficiaries must have in trustees, the law holds trustees to a very high standard.
Challenging a will is necessary when you have a valid reason to believe that the will isn't correct. A previous blog post discussed some of the reasons why a person might challenge a will. On top of having a valid reason, you must have a status that allows you to challenge.
While most people understand the importance of creating an estate plan, not everyone goes through this process. For this reason, it's possible that people could pass on before they create wills.
When there is a dispute over a person's will, one of the questions may be if he or she had the capacity to make decisions or changes to that document. It's not always easy to challenge a will, but if a person can prove that a lack of capacity played a role in a person's decision making before death, then he or she could have a solid case in court.
Typically, all but one percent of wills go through the probate process without a problem. This is because courts generally take the stance that a will is in the decedent's voice and conveys his or her final wishes. And, since that individual can no longer speak about those wishes, Ohio courts will usually stand by the document. This can make challenging a will very difficult.
For as long as you can remember, your father always told you that you'd inherit the estate. You're an only child, and you have been there for him during his time in need.
One of the things that can make moving on after a loved one's death difficult is being unable to locate his or her assets. When you can't locate assets, it could make it hard to finalize the estate plans. It could also mean that someone has taken advantage of your loved one, which is something you want to clear up right away.