What to Know About Contesting a Will in Pennsylvania
If you are thinking about contesting a will in Pennsylvania, you need to schedule a consultation with an experienced Pennsylvania probate lawyer immediately. A Pennsylvania will contest lawyer can help guide you through the entirety of the process and keep you informed about your rights and how to avoid many common missteps. If you are under the impression that someone's will is invalid in Pennsylvania or has been created as a result of some type of wrongdoing, you might have the grounds to challenge it but you need to consult with an attorney immediately. First of all, you must have the right reason to contest the will.
A will contest lawyer in Philadelphia will help you to understand if your case meets the legal grounds for contesting the will. You may not contest a will simply because you do not like the contents. Pennsylvania law only allows you to contest a will on certain grounds including fraud, improper execution and forgery. Fraud includes allegations that the person who was signing the will or someone else did not realize the what was in the will when they signed it. Improper execution has to do with technical requirements that must be met in order or someone to sign a will, such making sure the signature is at the end of the document. Forgery has to do with the testator not actually signing the will. The final reason that you might have grounds to contest a will in the state of Pennsylvania is as a result of undue influence, one of the most common reasons for someone to contest a will. This comes about as a result of someone who is in a relationship with the testator considered confidential receives a large benefit in the will that has been challenged. The second step to challenging a Philadelphia will is having standing if you are going to contest it.
Like many probate disputes, such as a breach of fiduciary duty claim, you must act quickly.
A will can be contested only someone who stands to benefit in the event that the will is found to be invalid, they can file a court action to challenge it. Filing the appropriate paperwork is necessary if you intend to contest a will in the state of Pennsylvania. You may file a caveat through the county register of wills where the testator lived when he or she died. This protests the will’s probate in Philadelphia. You can file an appeal the register of wills’ decision to recognize the will’s validity and have the estate opened after the has been filed in court. Then you must initiate a petition associated with the various reasons you have. All of the required paperwork associated with contesting a will has to be filed timely. The caveat upholds the will’s probate only if it is filed prior to the will being filed. After the will is challenged in Philadelphia, hopefully with the help of your attorney, and the parties have filed papers, this initiates a discovery period.
Those who are involved in the discovery period can send formal questions that are referred to as interrogatories to the other party, can subpoena documents and can take depositions. The purpose of discovery is to allow all parties to gather necessary information and evidence they might use in their positions at trial. You need to consult legal counsel if you believe that you have grounds to pursue a will contest. This is because it is extremely complicated to pursue will contests and the way in which you approach it and the manner of details is extremely important for the outcome of your case. An initial consultation with a Philadelphia will contest lawyer can tell you whether or not now is the appropriate time and whether or not you meet the grounds in order to do so.
Consulting with an attorney can help you understand all of the various aspects of pursuing a will contest and how to ensure that you have all the paperwork and details right.