The expectation or promise of an inheritance can offer some relief after a loved one dies. However, those expectations do not always come to fruition. When they don’t, it can be upsetting and confusing to the one who is left out of the will. Sometimes, these cases end up embroiled in probate litigation that can be complex and costly.
Nevertheless, those in California whose omission from a will denies them a significant portion of an estate or an especially precious inheritance may feel it is worthwhile to pursue the matter through legal channels. In most cases, only family members may contest the contents of a will. It is important that those family members who choose to challenge the will understand how difficult it may be.
What happens next?
Someone contesting a disinheritance will have to prove the will is not valid. There are only a few reasons why a court will reject someone’s will, such as if the deceased executed the will under duress, the testator was in a state of mental incapacity or the will is a product of fraud. Obtaining copies of every version of the will is often the first step to reaching that burden of proof.
Because of the complexities and risks of probate litigation, having legal advice and guidance is a wise idea. Besides obtaining a frank evaluation of the case, those seeking to dispute a disinheritance will have access to the resources available through an experienced California attorney. It may be possible to resolve the matter through mediation, but having a skilled advocate may improve the chances of meeting one’s goal in probate court.