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By: Scott Grossman on May 15th, 2017

What Happens After Failing to Respond to a Summons

If a party seeks to contest a will admitted for probate, they must file a petition with the appropriate court. Once the petition is filed, a summons is issued to the personal representative of the estate, heirs, and devisees by order of the court. If the recipient of the summons chooses not to respond, certain ramifications result. The following is an overview.

Legal Ramifications of Failing to Respond to a Summons Regarding a Petition to Revoke a Will

Before choosing not to respond to a summons relating to an attempted revocation of a will, it is crucial to speak with an attorney. The consequences of failing to respond include the following:

  1. The petition for the revocation of the will remains an issue even though the personal representative did not respond to the summons.
  2. A case may proceed about the petition along with any other documents that were filed before the hearing.
  3. There are no requirements for filing additional pleadings to keep the case going
  4. Failure to respond to the petition has consequences. For example, the person failing to respond will not be entitled to participate in the will contest proceedings.
  5. If a beneficiary or heir fails to respond, their interest in the estate is not affected.
  6. Any parties who fail to respond to the summons remain bound by the court’s decision relating to the proceeding.

Failing to respond to a summons is not something to take lightly. We encourage you to reach out for help. Send us an email or give us a call at 888-443-6590.

Related Links:

Will Contest for Undue Influence

Challenging a Will due to Mental Incapacity

Five Reasons an Heir Might Challenge a Will