Back to the Learning Center

By: Scott Grossman on October 16th, 2016

Outcomes When Challenging a Will or Trust

Deciding whether or not to pursue a trust or will contest is not always easy. First, you must decide on your legal grounds for challenging the validity of the document, whether it is due to undue influence, lack of mental capacity, fraud, or another reason. In addition, it is important to understand what will happen if your challenge is successful. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your potential case as well as what the outcome may be if you succeed in your challenge.

4 Possible Outcomes When Challenging a Will or Trust

If you succeed in having a trust or will deemed invalid, anticipate one of the following outcomes:

  1. A will that has already been properly executed will become the operative and controlling document in estate administration.
  2. If there was no previously executed will the estate will be administered with the intestacy laws in California. These laws control who receives what when a person dies.
  3. The property will be treated as if it were owned by the estate. This means that the assets may have to go through the probate administration process. The assets are distributed under terms of a valid will, or in accordance to intestacy laws in the state.
  4. If only a trust amendment is deemed invalid, the amendment will be disregarded but not the underlying trust instrument. This means that the assets will be distributed in accordance with the provisions of the original trust document as if the amendment had never taken place.

It is also important the various incurring expenses when challenging a will or trust. These expenses include legal fees, court costs, and fees charged by expert witnesses. These expenses may be worthwhile, however, if your challenge is successful and you ultimately receive the inheritance you deserve.

In order to maximize your chances for success when pursuing a trust or will challenge, it is crucial to choose an attorney who can guide you through the process. We have helped many clients navigate a trust or will challenge. We encourage you to learn more by checking out our client testimonials today.

Related Links: