What happens if a loved one’s will or trust is the product of undue influence or diminished capacity? What if the document does not adhere to South Dakota or Iowa law? What if you believe the will or trust was not executed properly?
Knowing what to do in such situations can be confusing. Even knowing what your rights are might not be clear. That's why it is critical that you contact our law firm. The attorneys at Northern Plains Justice can carefully explain the legal options available to you.
Estate Litigation Cases Are Complicated
You may need to challenge the document on the grounds that the person who created the estate plan had a mental impairment or was coerced by someone else. In some cases, the executor or beneficiary may have exerted undue influence.
It's not unusual to become embroiled in a dispute over a will or trust. You may know that a family member or friend did not act voluntarily when making it out. It may be clear to you that your loved one was not of sound mind when creating the estate plan.
Proving undue influence or diminished capacity can be a challenge. You may need to obtain medical records and other documents to make your case. That's why it's so important to contact our Sioux Falls law firm. We know how to gather and review the necessary evidence to contest a will or trust successfully.
Types of Estate Litigation Cases
We strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with our firm if you are dealing with any of the following legal matters:
- Contested will
- Contested estate
- Improperly executed will or trust
- Forged documents
- Breach of fiduciary duty
Reasons to Contest a Will or Trust
We provide sound legal counsel for clients who need to contest a will or trust (also called last will and testament, living wills, etc.) for any number of reasons. Such reasons include:
- Undue influence. If someone pressured a loved one to draft a will or change it, you could have grounds to legally contest the will.
- Unsound mind. You might have a legitimate "lack of capacity" or "diminished capacity" case if your loved one was of unsound mind when drafting or changing the will. Common examples of unsound mind include people suffering from Alzheimer's, dementia, or senility.
- Forged wills. Someone claims the will in question was written by someone else, and the signature was forged on the document. Or perhaps the will was amended without the knowledge of the person who wrote the will.
- Invalid signatures. In order for a will to be valid, it must be signed by several people, including witnesses and the person who created the will. If those signatures were forged, someone could contest the will on the grounds of "lack of valid execution" of the will.
- Lack of approval. If the person signing the will did not know the document was a will, the will could be declared invalid. Proving such claims can be difficult, which is why you should contact our law firm.
- Professional negligence. If the attorney who drafted the will made a mistake, the will could be contested. The negligence may be due to clerical errors or may be a result of incompetence and a lack of understanding of estate planning law.
How Our Sioux Falls Estate Litigation Attorneys Can Help
We understand how emotionally charged an inheritance dispute case can be for families. That's why we provide personal attention and take the time to understand your needs. We can take action to protect your legal rights and your assets by:
- Resolving disagreements in the estate, whether it is with the will, trust, or another testamentary document
- Resolving disputes in probate
- Disputing will contests
- Negotiating and discussing how the estate has been handled
- Working out ambiguities
- Removing an executor or trustee
- Defending against the removal of an executor or trustee
- Contesting guardianship matters
- Dealing with creditor claims against the decedent and the estate
- Moving matters forward, so the estate is administered in a timely manner
- Representing you in probate and in determining how the assets will be administered, if the decedent died without a will
Many lawyers avoid complicated legal battles to contest wills and trusts. We thrive on them. That's because we understand just how important such cases can be for everyone involved. Contact our law firm right away to find out how we can help.