Q:

How do you contest wills and trusts?

A:

Quick Answer

To contest a will or trust, an individual must file the necessary paperwork and all relevant documentation with the probate court in the state where the testator of the will or trust died, according to Piper Li for LegalZoom. Litigants may file the paperwork themselves or through an attorney.

 Know More

Full Answer

Time limits to contest a will or trust are between two and six months for most states, notes Li. To contest a will or trust, an individual must have legal standing, which is defined as a beneficiary or devisee of the will or trust or an individual who would inherit if there was not a will or trust in existence, states FindLaw.

Grounds to contest a will or trust include the decedent's lack of mental capacity at the time the will or trust was signed, undue influence by another, fraud, ambiguous language or an improperly signed and witnessed trust or will, explains FindLaw. Fraud often takes the form of a ruse where the decedent was induced to sign the will and trust without knowing what he was signing. Judges consider language to be ambiguous when it can be interpreted in two ways. In such cases, courts impose their interpretation of what the deceased intended. An example of an undue influence by another is when a decedent is coerced into signing the will or trust by the threat of withholding his medication.

Learn more about Financial Planning

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can you avoid probate court?

    A:

    Avoiding probate court can be done by establishing a revocable living trust, implementing pay-on-death accounts and registrations, and giving someone joint ownership in property, according to Nolo. Almost every state offers some type of short-cut or a way to avoid probate altogether.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you change the executors of a will?

    A:

    The executor of a will is changed through a codicil, which is an amendment to a will, according to A.L. Kennedy for LegalZoom. The codicil is written on a separate sheet of paper with the exact wording used in the original will to name the executor, except it has the new executor's name.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are your rights as trust beneficiary?

    A:

    The rights of a trust beneficiary include obtaining copies of accounting paperwork; receiving payments outlined in the trust; bringing action on behalf of the trust; and closing out the trust, according to Anna Assad for LegalZoom. States have different rules depending on the type of trust.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an irrevocable will?

    A:

    While there is no such thing as an irrevocable will, there is an irrevocable trust, which is mainly used for estate assets and cannot be revoked or changed, notes Investopedia. There are also irrevocable living trusts, which can't be revoked and are used to lower taxes and transfer financial assets.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore