Five Scenarios That Can Help Defend Against San Diego Will Contests
While some families choose to create a California estate plan that distributes assets evenly between all children, this is not always the case. Some individuals may wish to disinherit an heir. Unfortunately, the disinherited child could choose to pursue litigation against the estate through the San Diego probate court in an attempt to gain access to the estate assets. If you are the executor of an estate that is facing a will contest, an experienced probate litigation lawyer in San Diego can help you defend against these claims.
When preparing to defend a will contest claim in California, consider the following:
- Did the decedent distribute any of his or her assets prior to passing? A history of giving assets to certain individuals can help you to demonstrate the intent of the decedent.
- Did the decedent file sequential wills? When a decedent has filed multiple wills, each of which disinherited the same individual, this is an indication of the decedent’s intent. It is also more difficult for the challenger to succeed in his or her attempt to overturn a will. This is because, even if one will is thrown out, there are still others that remain. For this reason, sequential wills are often used in situations where one heir is going to be disinherited.
- Did the decedent obtain a mental competency evaluation by a qualified medical professional prior to executing the will? Some testators take this extra step in order to make it more difficult for a disinherited heir to succeed in a will contest claim.
- Did the decedent videotape the signing of the will? In some cases, testators videotape their will signing in an effort to prove that they were mentally incompetent.
- Did the decedent include specific language in the will to indicate the intent to disinherit the heir?
Our article “What Is a Will Contest?” provides more information about will contests in California. To learn more about defending a will contest, contact a San Diego probate court litigation attorney today. Call our toll-free number at (888) 443-6590.
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