A will is a valuable estate planning tool. A will helps Georgia residents make sure their property is given to the people they want after they die.
Most of us assume that there are certain people who will leave us things in their will no matter what, such as our parents, children or siblings. Therefore, finding out that you have been left out of a will can be an extremely shocking and upsetting experience.
Coercion and undue influence
You might be convinced that being left out of the will was a mistake, and while that might be true, contesting a will is no easy matter. The probate litigation process is costly, time consuming and complicated.
There is also no guarantee that you will win a will contest. You must have proof that your loved one was coerced or unduly influenced by someone and that is why you were left out of the will.
If you believe that the will that you were left out of is fraudulent, you must be ready to prove that, as well. You generally need proof besides simply your testimony.
For example, if you have always had a close relationship with your father, and his will leaves something to everyone in your family except you, a court will still need additional proof beyond your testimony that he would “never” leave you out of the will.
This additional proof is usually a copy of the valid will. However, you must still prove that your copy of the will is the legitimate one.
Things to consider
Think carefully about contesting the will. You might be correct that the will is not valid, but you still need to prove it.
You are likely already emotionally fragile and may not be ready or able to initiate what could be a long, expensive legal battle. It is best to talk with an attorney before you do anything and learn about your chances of success.