Will Contests

Disputes arising from disagreements regarding a loved one’s trustworthiness or loyalty have the potential to split a family apart. Our experienced estate planning and probate attorney at Rhodes Law can assist you if something isn’t quite right with a will or trust for which you are, or should be, a beneficiary or heir.

What Is A Will Contest?

Under California law, a will contest is a formal legal challenge to the legality of a will. The claim that the will does not represent the intent of the individual who created the will, known as the testator or deceased, or that the will is otherwise defective, such as failing to satisfy the required formalities, is generally made by a will contest attorney.

The will must be signed by at least two witnesses during the testator’s lifetime, each of whom observed either the signing of the will or the testator’s acknowledgment of the signature or of the will, and understood that the instrument they sign is the testator’s will. If a will was not executed following the foregoing conditions, the Will shall be considered as if it was if the proponent of the will demonstrates by clear and compelling evidence that the testator meant the will to constitute the testator’s will at the time the testator signed the will.

In California, How Can You Contest A Will?

When a loved one passes away, there is frequently a lot of ambiguity, including questions about his or her final intentions. When attempting to decipher the intentions of departed loved ones, complications might develop. Those who want to modify how a decedent’s affairs are managed may contest a Will. Due to the intricate nature of estate litigation, consult an attorney at Rhodes Law in Santa Rosa who specializes in trusts, estates, and probate before contesting a will.

Is It Possible For Me To Contest The Will?

To contest a will in California, a person must have standing, either through a will contest attorney or within their own. A person must be interested” to have standing, which means they stand to gain or lose something if the will in issue is probated. Heirs of the estate, beneficiaries under the will, and creditors of the estate are all common contenders. The party contesting the will is referred to as the “contestant.”

How Does It Work?

The County Probate Court in the county where your departed loved one lived probates a will. A person opposing a will can submit an objection with the court, which will prevent the will from being probated. When this happens, the deceased’s heirs, each listed in the will, and the executor must all be informed. Following then, individuals who have been contacted have 30 days to reply to the contest. A probate judge decides on a will contest trial.

Clauses Prohibiting Will Contest

Some wills and trusts include no-contest clauses, which state that anybody who challenges the legitimacy of a provision will get nothing from the estate. When a will or trust has a “no-contest clause,” it’s critical to consult with a trust and probate attorney to learn about your legal rights and alternatives. A “no contest clause” does not exclude you from opposing the will; nevertheless, before contesting a will or trust with a “no-contest clause,” you should thoroughly grasp your legal status and the ramifications.

Contact Our Santa Rosa Will Contest Attorney

The trust and will contest attorney can assist you in contesting a will or trust, defending against a will contest brought by others, or just ensuring that your rights regarding a loved one’s trust or will are preserved.

When contesting or challenging a will or trust, the specialists at Rhodes Law in Santa Rosa will give you the best chance of victory.