Stephen Bilkis
Protecting your interests
and your loved one’s wishes
833.725.2972 Request A Free Consultation

Challenging Will Capacity

A Philadelphia challenging will capacity attorney involves making a claim that a person did not have the appropriate capacity to generate a will when they establish this critical legal document. If a will is determined to have been created and signed by someone who did not have the capacity to do so at the time, this could be used to initiate legal action, challenging the very validity of will. The testator is fundamental to the validity of any last will and testament in Philadelphia.

This is the person who signs the document, had capacity when the will was made. Pennsylvania statutes require that a person signing a will must be of a legal standard called a “sound mind” in order to create one. Courts in Pennsylvania have also gone into further detail to explain exactly what this means. There are several different factors used to determine whether or not a person had testamentary capacity when he or she created and signed the will. First of all, the person must know something about the relatives where some or all of these are supposed to be beneficiaries. Knowledge of the property and the estate’s content must also be present in order for a person to have capacity.

It’s not always in the best interest of your outcome to file a will contest. Much with any type of probate dispute, including claims that someone violated his or her fiduciary duty, you need to evaluate the possible outcome you can expect. Your lawyer might tell you that the possible benefits you could achieve do not outweigh the stress or cost of going through another route. While this can be hard to accept, it might also be what you need to know in order to move on with your life.

The testator does not need to know every single asset and this is much less important in cases in which the testator intends to bestow all of his or her property to only one person. Finally, in order to have capacity to generate a will, the testator must have a clear understanding of what they want done with the property and inside the estate. The courts usually recognize that a testator is entitled to his or her individual prejudices but this does not necessarily mean that the person lacks capacity.

Proof that the testator lacked capacity must be shared directly with your lack of capacity attorney in Philadelphia. A lack of capacity lawyer in Philadelphia will explain to you that proof of lack of capacity can depend on the witness testimony, medical records and other types of evidence. The will be invalid if the court determines that the testator did not have capacity when he or she signed the will. Just because a person does have capacity does not guarantee that the will is valid for other reasons like undue influence. This is one reason why you'd want to speak directly to an experienced attorney as soon as possible after you believe that undue influence or other issues have impacted the overall development of the will and what it says inside. Consulting with a lawyer will help you to clarify whether or not initiating a lawsuit is in your best interests. This is of important consideration when you may simply choose to let the matter fade out and move on with your life. However, if you believe that the testator did not have appropriate capacity to generate the will at the time, and you have evidence contributing directly to this, you should share this information with an attorney who can help you to initiate a legal case.

Client Reviews
"Had the great fortune to know David Dessen and Bonnie Moses for decades. I respect both their legal opinions as well as their good work. I highly recommend them. Not only for my legal issues but I refer them when I’m asked for an attorney in the Philadelphia area." SS
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Contact Us