FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT WILL CONTESTS LAWYERS
Experienced Attorneys Helping You with Probate and Will Disputes
Will contests occur when there is a dispute over the validity of a will and/or the circumstances surrounding its execution. There are many reasons to contest a will and it often becomes a very involved and lengthy process. In addition, a will dispute is likely to put a lot of strain on family relationships. For these reasons, the decision to contest the validity of a will should not be made lightly and it should not be undertaken without the help of an attorney.
At our law firm, we have been helping clients with will contests in Connecticut for several years. Whichever side of the dispute you are on, we will be strong advocates committed to fighting for a successful result. Let us put our years of experience to work to win justice for your loved one and ensure that his/her last wishes are honored.
Reasons to Contest a Will
Wills are often contested based on the premise that the decedent was not of sound mind when the will was executed. For example, elderly people suffering from an illness that affects their mental capacity can fall victim to undue influence. Wills can also be contested because of an invalid signature or alleged fraud or coercion when the will was signed.
Here are some specific reasons why a family member might want to contest a will:
- The testator (creator of the will) was incompetent at the time the will was executed due to a mental or physical condition.
- The testator’s judgment was impaired due to the influence of medication when the will was executed.
Changes in the will were due to the influence of an individual the testator was dependent upon, such as a caregiver.
- The mental coherence of the testator at the time of execution is in question.
- The testator was fraudulently coerced (or tricked) into signing the will; for example, the testator was told they were signing a power of attorney or some other document.
- The will is unsigned or the testator’s signature is believed to be forged or invalid.
- The impartiality (or lack thereof) among those who witnessed changes in the will is in question.
- The timing of the changes in the will as it relates to the decedent’s time of death is suspicious.
It is important to note that the person contesting a will must have “standing” to do so. This means that the person filing the dispute must be personally affected by the outcome of the case. In the case of will contests, a person only has standing if they will inherit property from the decedent’s estate in the absence of a will. For example, the son of a decedent who was excluded from the will would have standing to file a contest. On the other hand, a family friend that claims he/she was promised a piece of property by the decedent would not have standing.
Will contests can be a lengthy struggle because it is often difficult to prove that a will is not valid. However, if there is no other recourse to ensuring that your loved one’s wishes are adhered to, then this may be your only option. At our law firm, we are elder law attorneys with extensive experience helping clients with probate disputes. We will review all the pertinent documents for holes and inconsistencies that might strengthen your case and put you in the best possible position to succeed. Contact us today at 203-853-4400 for a free consultation. From our Norwalk CT office, our law firm represents clients for elder and family law matters in Greenwich, Darien, Georgetown, and communities throughout Fairfield County.