Losing a loved one is always heartbreaking. When you also find out that you got left out of your parents will, it can add an extra layer of stress and emotion to an already difficult situation.
However, it is vital to understand your legal options and what steps you can take if you have been left out of your parents will.
Understanding the Probate Process
The first step in dealing with being left out of a will is understanding the probate process. A probate court determines how to distribute a deceased person’s estate, including their assets and debts.
If your parent had a will, their estate would likely go through probate. The probate court will verify the will’s validity, pay any outstanding debts or taxes, and distribute the remaining assets to the listed beneficiaries according to the instructions in the will.
Contesting the Will
If you believe that the will is invalid or that your parents unfairly left you out, you may be able to contest the will. Contesting a will means challenging its validity or the way it was executed.
To contest a will, you must have legal standing. This means that you must have a direct interest in the case. Typically, you must be a spouse, child, or another close family member of the deceased.
Reasons for contesting a will can include the following:
Undue influence: The court can rule for undue influence if someone pressured the deceased to change their will or was not of sound mind when they made the will.
Lack of capacity: If the deceased was not mentally capable of making decisions about their estate when they made the will, it might be considered invalid.
Fraud: If someone intentionally deceives the deceased to change their will, it may be considered fraud.
If you believe that any of these circumstances apply to your parents will, you may be able to contest it. However, it is essential to note that contesting a will can be a complex and emotional process, and you will need to have experienced legal representation.
Hiring an Experienced Attorney
If you decide to contest a will, having an experienced FKMA Law attorney on your side is essential. Will contests can be a long, challenging process that requires a deep understanding of estate law and legal procedures.
Our skilled attorneys at FKMA Law can help you determine if you have legal standing to contest the will and help you gather evidence to support your case. Additionally, we can represent you in court and negotiate on your behalf to settle.
It’s good to look for an attorney with a track record of success in similar cases which can provide references from previous clients.
In summary, being left out of your parent’s estate can be an emotionally charged and confusing experience. If you believe the will is invalid or that you were unfairly left out, you can contest it.
With the proper legal representation, you can ensure that you receive the fair share of your parent’s estate that you deserve.
Contact Franks, Kelly, Matuszewich, and Andrle Attorneys at Law for help with your case today.