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By: Scott Grossman on October 14th, 2016

Nine Vital Steps to Take When Faced With a San Diego Will Contest

Related Links:

What evidence should I gather if someone is challenging the validity of a California will?

Riverside County New Rules for Filing Probate and Trust Litigation

When a loved one appointed you the executor of his or her estate, you likely were not anticipating having to defend against an attack on the validity of the will. Unfortunately, it is possible that you may face just such a challenge. The disinheritance of child is one example of this. When this happens, the disinherited heir may seek to have the will invalidated in order to receive a portion of the estate.

What should you do if this happens while you are the executor of an estate?

Consider taking the following actions:

  1. Consult with an experienced probate court litigation attorney in San Diego for guidance.
  2. Obtain a copy of the will and all amendments.
  3. Obtain copies of any previous wills.
  4. Gather any evidence that will support the testator’s mental capacity at the time of the will signing, such as an affidavit from a physician or a videotaped will signing, if available.
  5. Obtain a copy of any living trusts and associated amendments.
  6. Ensure the will was properly executed by reviewing it.
  7. Assemble copies of any communication with the disinherited heir.
  8. Review the estate planning attorney’s notes and file. There may be evidence of the intent of the testator within that file.
  9. Ensure that there were no wills executed more recently than the will that you are attempting to submit to the San Diego probate court.

While California probate litigation may result from a will contest, it’s possible mediation could save time and financial costs of full blown litigation. Our article, “8 Facts about Mediation as Part of San Diego Probate Court Litigation,” explains more about the mediation process. To learn more, contact a San Diego probate court attorney today. Call our office at (888) 443-6590 for a consultation.