Contesting a Will in California

When a person comes to the end of their life, they often possess many treasured assets. These are valuable and should be passed on to loved ones to make sure they will still be taken care of. This can be done with an extensive estate plan to prepare for what happens to these assets when a life is over. This allows the individual to protect their assets and ensure they end up in the hands of their choosing.

Part of an estate plan can include the creation of a will. A will is a document that acknowledges an individual’s wishes of how their estate should be taken care of after their death. This ensures that their assets do not fall into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, there are times when an illegitimate will is created. This may happen the lawful process was not followed when creating the document.

Executing a Will

The state of California has certain guidelines that must be followed to ensure a will is created legally. Following these guidelines is what makes the document valid. The will must be written and signed by either the testator, in the name of the testator by another individual with permission, or by a court-ordered guardian. It must be done in the presence of two witnesses who also sign the document and are aware they are doing so.

Contesting a Will

When a will is created, the document must go through probate court after the individual dies. The process of probate determines if a will is valid. If it is believed that the creation of the will did not follow these guidelines, it can be contested. It is important to know that, under probate law, a will can only be contested by those who are mention in the will or a previous will that was written.

A will may be contested for the following reasons:

  • If it was created under the influence of another party
  • If the deceased was not mentally competent when writing the will
  • If the will was not executed properly
  • If fraud or forgery took place

If the court agrees that the will is invalid, the document can be thrown out. If there is no other will, the deceased’s assets will be distributed by the state of California through a succession plan.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is looking to contest a will, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman today.

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Office of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most.Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.