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Families Do Not Always Agree

Posted on in Estate Planning

As we all have heard, and have probably experienced, families do not always agree. On occasion, even when a person has planned their estate and has a will, families may argue over the will and whether it is in fact enforceable. Sometimes a family member may find the will suspicious and believe that the will is not what the deceased intended. In those situations, disputes among a family may arise, especially when a family member decides to contest the deceased's will. Contesting a will is when a person formally objects to the will claiming that the will is invalid and unenforceable. A family member may have the right to contest a will if they were a beneficiary of the will or would have been a beneficiary of the will if the deceased had died without a will or in legal terms, died intestate.

A family who choses to contest a will must have a good reason for contesting the will. For example, if the family member believes that the will was signed at a time when the deceased did not have sufficient mental capacity would be a sufficient reason to contest a will. AARP identifies other valid reasons other than capacity for contesting a will such as undue influence, improper execution (i.e. no signature), and fraud.

As baby boomers age, will contests are becoming more common and are often routed in sibling rivalry.  As you would expect, will contests are emotionally difficult and may often cause irreparable damage to a family that once was strong. Thus, if you are involved in a will contest, contact a DuPage County attorney who has experience dealing and negotiating with individuals when emotions are riding high.

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