Losing a loved one is devastating. This loss is made harder if there is a contest over their will and trust. This can be worse if their wishes are unclear. Sometimes they may leave significant debts or expenses that only become apparent later.
As an executor or heir, navigating the complex legal matters surrounding wills and trusts can be overwhelming. Having a trustworthy Cape Girardeau Wills and Trusts attorney is essential. We can guide you through complex legal issues, ensuring you get the best result.
There are several reasons for contested wills and trusts. Such as:
- Competency or lack of capacity
- Undue influence
- Questionable will changes
- Whether the deceased person signed the will
- Whether the will was properly executed
- Interpretation of the will
- The deceased person’s intent.
Spouses, domestic partners, children, heirs, creditors, and other claimants, often contest wills and trusts. Beneficiaries in earlier versions of the wills and trusts who were removed may attempt to contest the will or trust.
It is also important to note that in Cape Girardeau, legal regulations governing wills and intestate succession stipulate that any challenges to the validity of a will must occur during the probate proceedings and not before the testator’s death.
If informal resolution of such disputes is not possible, seeking help from a will contest attorney can ensure that the transfer of the deceased’s assets complies with the laws. If this approach fails to settle the disagreement, the aggrieved parties can take the matter to court and request that the court uphold their legal rights.
When contesting wills and trust, the probate court suspends approval of the document and investigates the claims. The burden of proof lies with the person contesting the will or trust to prove the document is invalid.
Birk Law Firm represents clients involved in contested will and trust cases. We collaborate with medical experts, geriatric specialists, and private investigators to protect our client’s claims and rights.
Our contested wills and trusts lawyers understand that our clients require legal counsel, practical advice, and support, particularly when dealing with family disputes. We prioritize standing by our clients at every stage of the process while striving to achieve the best possible outcome on their behalf.
Contact Birk Law Firm at 573-332-8585 to book a free phone, video, or in-person consultation.
How Birk Law Firm Can Help You Contest a Wills and Trust
Birk Law Firm is a trusted and experienced law firm in Cape Girardeau with a focus on contested wills and trusts cases. Our team of experienced contested wills and trusts lawyers understands the complexities of these cases and will work to protect your rights and interests.
When you hire Birk Law Firm, here’s what to expect:
- Experience: Our will contest lawyers have extensive experience handling wills and trusts. We know these cases are complex, and we will provide effective representation throughout the legal process.
- Case assessment: We will conduct a thorough assessment of your case. Our will contest lawyers will review the will or trust to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case. We will explore all available legal options and advocate for your interests every step of the way.
- Negotiation: While litigation may be necessary in some cases, we always strive to resolve disputes through negotiation and mediation when possible. This approach can often lead to a faster and more cost-effective resolution while achieving a favorable outcome for our clients.
- Litigation: Our contested will lawyers are prepared to litigate contested wills when necessary. We have the skills and experience to present a compelling case on your behalf and get the best possible outcome.
- Communication: We understand that contested will and trust disputes can be emotional and stressful, and we are committed to keeping you informed. We will answer your questions and concerns and provide regular updates on the status of your case.
You need an experienced Cape Girardeau contested wills and trusts attorney to handle your wills and trusts. Contact Birk Law Firm at 573-332-8585 to schedule a free phone, video meeting, or in-person consultation.
Trust & Probate Litigation
Litigation may occur when there is mismanagement, undue influence, or other suspicious circumstances during the execution of a will. Our contested trust lawyers will work to diligently uncover any misconduct from executors or trustees.
When a will significantly deviates from a decedent’s previously known wishes, we consult private investigators and medical professionals during probate litigation. A comprehensive review of the history of the will and the actions of those surrounding the deceased in their final days and months will reveal any presence of diminished mental capacity or undue influence.
Contact our will contest lawyers today if you suspect mismanagement of a trust or estate or believe your loved one was coerced into changing their will.
Issues with Wills & Trusts
The primary purpose of writing a will is to ensure one’s family is cared for. Even with the help of an attorney, errors or omissions can occur. At Birk Law Firm, our contested will and trust lawyers have decades of experience contesting faulty wills and trusts.
Contested wills and trusts can give rise to legitimate questions, such as:
- Whether the person creating the will had the mental capacity to do so during execution
- Whether someone exerted undue influence over the person creating the will
- Whether changes made to the will after a new marriage disadvantages adult children from a previous marriage.
Our probate litigation attorneys have represented heirs, beneficiaries, and personal representatives in contested wills and trusts. Our approach at Birk Law Firm is to seek a diplomatic resolution. If necessary, we are prepared aggressively litigate and fight for our client’s rights in court.
Steps to Contesting a Will
Before contesting a will, it is important to consider the following factors:
- Determine whether you have legal standing to contest the will: Only individuals who stand to benefit or be affected by the case’s outcome can contest a will.
- Be mindful of time constraints: Every state has regulations regarding how much time one has to contest a will. Depending on the jurisdiction, it could be weeks or years.
- Ensure that you have valid grounds for contesting the will: Merely disliking it is not a sufficient reason to contest it. There must be valid reasons, such as the testator’s lacking mental capacity or being influenced, improper signing and legal formalities, or fraud.
Contact A Cape Girardeau Contest Wills and Trust Lawyer Today
Contested will and trust disputes can be emotionally charged and complex. Strict timelines govern the contesting process for wills and trusts. Failure to file a claim within the narrow window provided could result in an inability to challenge the documents entirely.
Contesting a will or trust can be complex, and seeking professional assistance increases your likelihood of success. At Birk Law Firm, we can represent you in court and work toward achieving the best possible outcome for your case. Let our experienced wills and trusts lawyer assist you through a potentially overwhelming process. Contact the Birk Law Firm at 573-212-8899 to schedule your free consultation.
Birk Law Firm is here to help. Call 573-332-8585 to schedule a free consultation.
What is the difference between probating a will and contesting a will?
Probate refers to the court-supervised process of verifying the validity of a will, administering the will, paying off outstanding debts, and distributing the estate among the rightful heirs and beneficiaries. Conversely, contesting a will involves initiating legal proceedings to challenge the validity of the will in question.
What is the statute of limitations when contesting a will and trust?
The statute of limitations specifies the duration to challenge a will; contesting the will is no longer possible once this period elapses. The time frame for the statute of limitations varies from state to state.
Who can challenge a will and trust?
A person who stands to gain from a prior will and trust has the right to contest. In the absence of an earlier will or trust, an individual who would be entitled to an inheritance under the intestacy rules can initiate a challenge.
What is an Inheritance Act claim, and who can bring one?
An Inheritance Act claim is filed under the Inheritance (PFD) Act 1975, commonly known as the 1975 Act. It allows a person who has not received adequate financial provision under a will (or the intestacy rules in the absence of a will) to make an Inheritance Act claim.
To be eligible to bring such a claim, the person must belong to one of the categories specified in the Act. This may include a spouse, a cohabiting partner of at least two years, or someone financially supported by the deceased.
ALL YOUR LEGAL NEEDS
Why Choose Birk Law?
Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. Attorney Kelvin Birk and his team are responsive to their clients’ needs. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.
Our clients benefit from the intertwining of Kelvin Birk’s legal and CPA background and experience. We provide well-rounded advice to solve both legal and financial issues and to come up with creative solutions. We use modern technology to deliver legal services in a more efficient and client-focused manner than was previously possible.
We provide personalized and compassionate service. We believe that each client’s matter is the most important matter in the world to them, and we strive to treat it that way.