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Sun City Will Contest Attorneys

Phoenix Attorney discusses a contested will

A Last Will and Testament, often known as just a Will, is a legal document that specifies how a decedent’s property will be distributed after his or her death. In an ideal situation, the validity of the decedent’s will would not get called into question. Often times, however, individuals may question the integrity of the Will or the circumstances surrounding the signing of the Will. Individuals expecting a larger inheritance than the Will affords may become frustrated or angry. Unreasonable expectations are common when dealing with Wills. A will can quickly become a source of family turmoil and internal strife.

Dealing With a Contested Will in Arizona

A number of reasons exist as to why a Will may be contested. The experienced attorneys at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, know how to handle these types of stressful and contentious situations. We have experience both in defending valid Wills and in contesting wills that are invalid. If you have questions about a Will, it may be in your best interest to speak with a knowledgeable estate litigation attorney. We offer free case evaluations at (623) 889-0691.

Reasons to Question The Validity of a Will

Some contested Wills are unnecessarily scrutinized. In some cases, a person contests the Will because he or she was misinformed about the value of the decedent’s assets. Some Wills, however, should be contested. Questions to ask before contesting a will include:

  • Under what circumstances was the will created? Individuals have a right to sign their will at a time that is convenient to them. A will that is signed under duress should be invalidated.
  • Were family members present when the Will was executed?
  • Is the will notarized? Were witnesses present when the Will was created?
  • Is the original Will missing? Does the Will appear altered in any way?
  • Is anything suspicious about the document or the circumstances under which it was created?

Whenever money and property are involved, it is possible that someone is thinking only of his or her own best interests. Wrongdoing does not have to occur for someone to contest a Will, but all suspicious indicators may deserve further investigation.

What Qualifies as a Last Will and Testament?

When determining whether or not to contest a testamentary document, it is important to understand what qualifies as a valid estate planning document. Under Arizona law, the person attempting to execute a Will must be eighteen (18) years of age, must be of sound mind and the author of the document signed as well. Typically, two witnesses also initial and sign the Will. If any of these requirements are not met, the validity of the Will may be called into question.

Procedures to Validate a Will

Under some circumstances, a Will is admitted to probate through an informal proceeding. This means that a hearing will not occur unless an objection is filed within four months of receipt of notice. If an objection is made, a formal proceeding with notice of the objection and the hearing date will take place. A formal proceeding will also likely occur when the original copy of the Will has been lost.

Preventing A Will Contest

An honest and open dialogue between family members is a great way to prevent arguments and a hostile environment. Anyone creating a Will would be well advised to discuss the specifics with all beneficiaries of their property. Discussing exactly what is included in the estate plan can help prevent confusion. These types of discussions are never easy, but they can help reduce or eliminate contention and potential court proceedings.

Sun City Will Contest Lawyer Committed to Your Best Interests

The estate litigation attorneys at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, help families protect their best interests. We understand that talking about a will can be disconcerting and disturbing. Our attorneys try to make the process comfortable and easy with our client centered approach. For more information, please contact us at (623) 889-0691.

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