Probate Litigation FAQ
When a loved one passes, many people are surprised by how complicated it can be to distribute the contents of their estate. There is a lot of work involved with the probate process, and even more questions. We at Law Offices of Tom Pye want to help answer some of your questions to help put you in the right direction.
What Is The Difference Between A Beneficiary And Executor?
During an estate dispersal, you may hear words like “beneficiary” and “executor.” A recipient of even a small portion of the estate is a beneficiary. An executor is someone who has the task of managing the estate of the deceased person. Their responsibilities include notifying any business that needs to know of the passing, paying any remaining debts and distributing the estate as specified by the deceased. It is possible for the executor and the beneficiary to be the same person.
Who Can Contest A Will?
If someone believes that a will does not accurately reflect the wishes of the deceased, they can contest the will. However, not just anyone but only those who are considered an “interested party” can contest the will. These are people who have a standing interest in the outcome of the will by virtue of being named in a current or previous will, or someone who shares an estate with the deceased or who would inherit the estate if there was no will.
How Can Someone Contest A Will?
Even if you are an interested party, you still need a valid reason to contest a will. There are a few grounds for contesting a will:
- The testator (the person who owns the will) was not of sound mind when the will was drafted.
- The will is not legally valid. This can happen if the witnesses did not properly sign the will, if a modification was not properly added, if the distribution of property is not valid in any involved states or if the testator was tricked into signing the will.
- The executor is using an outdated will. This can happen if there exists an updated will.
- The will is unfinished.
If you are looking to contest a will or keep a will from being contested, we can help you consider your options after we review your case.
What Is Undue Influence?
Undue influence is one of the ways by which someone can render a will invalid. A person with a position of power over the testator could have forced them to create a will that they did not agree with. This can be a close relative or caretaker. When a person is mentally vulnerable, it becomes easy to use undue influence to force them to create a will.
How Do I Start An Estate Dispersal?
If a loved one has passed and you need help with the probate process or contesting or protecting a will, contact our Peachtree Corners office today. You can schedule your initial consultation by calling 678-894-2930 or emailing us here.