If you feel that a will you are involved with is unjust, it may be necessary to undertake will litigation and contest the will in court. Or, if you are the executor of a contested will, it may be necessary to defend the will in court. In either case, it is extremely important to engage a wills lawyer who has experience with will disputes.
Our lawyers have extensive experience in will litigation in Prince William, Stafford and Fairfax Counties. We have an in-depth understanding of what is involved in a will contest. We know that a will dispute is complicated, because it involves not only legal and financial issues, but emotional and psychological issues as well.
We are accustomed to counseling and representing clients in regard to the proper exercise of their authority as well as assisting beneficiaries in the protection of their rights and prerogatives. This experience distinguishes our firm and its attorneys from our peers who often are simply unable to provide in house the breadth of experienced trial attorneys who have a wealth of experience and success in handling estate litigation matters.
Successful Will or Trust Contest
At Legacy Law Group of Northern Virginia, we will explain to you that you cannot legally dispute a will simply because you are upset with the share of the assets you received. To successfully contest a will, it is necessary to prove the following:
It was improperly executed, such as being unsigned or other procedural flaw
There is a clear mistake, such as assigning the distribution of three halves or five quarters
The testator (the person whose will it is) lacked the mental capacity to understand what was actually being put in the will
The testator was mentally ill or suffered from an insane delusion.
The will was made under undue influence or duress, such as by a caregiver who threatened to withhold food if the will was not changed
The will is the result of fraud, such as when the son of the testator substituted a counterfeit will.
Other Issues Frequently Involved in Estate Litigation Matters
The authority of an executor or trustee over investments and distributions
Title to assets
Allocation of the income or estate tax burden to the shares of the estate or trust
Interpretation of the substantive distribution provisions of a will or trust
Termination of a trust, particularly prior to the duration otherwise provided for in the governing will or trust document
Release of fiduciary from liability for distributions made and compensation taken
For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions/FAQ.
- Patrick J. Saxton II - Manassas VA
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