What Do I Do If I Think the Wrong Will is Being Used After a Family Member’s Death?
It is not at all uncommon for a person to create multiple wills over the course of his or her lifetime. The reasons for this are quite simple: as a person progresses through life, both the possessions belonging to that person and the relationships in that person’s life can change, necessitating a rethinking of who should get what following the person’s death. In a perfect world, the proper steps are taken to revoke any prior wills or codicils while the correct will is properly stored and, after the death of the will maker, presented by a person with the care and integrity to ensure that the deceased’s wishes are followed. But we do not live in a perfect world, and all too often the wrong will is admitted to a probate proceeding after a person’s death. This can be due to poor record-keeping, fraud in someone in trying to present an outdated will that benefits himself, or even a forged will or will created through undue influence of fraud. If you are a person affected by a deceased person’s will, and you suspect an incorrect will is being used, you must act quickly in taking action to protect yourself and others.
Contact a Probate Litigation Attorney ASAP
There are a number of actions that might be taken to ensure that the proper will is both: 1) identified and located; and 2) properly admitted to the probate court overseeing the distribution of the estate. The longer one waits to begin the process of identifying, locating, and getting the proper will admitted into probate court, the higher the risk will be that the probate court will proceed with the incorrect will and therefore be reluctant or unwilling to deal with questions about the accuracy of the will. By contacting a probate litigation attorney as soon as possible – even if you do not have all the facts yourself yet – you can help improve your chances of taking corrective action to defend your property interests in time.
Furthermore, in many cases where an improper will has been admitted or is in the process of being admitted into court, there is a party with a financial stake in seeing that that will and not the correct will that you seek to admit is the one actually accepted by that court. That party may legitimately believe it has the correct will or it may be engaging in outright fraud, but, in either case, you can count on there being pushback to your efforts to see that justice is served by having the proper will admitted.
You can, again, counter that pushback by working with an experienced probate litigation attorney who can take decisive, quick action to defend your interests and those of the deceased’s through the following strategies:
- Investigating the location of the correct will
- Petitioning the court to prevent distribution via the incorrect will
- Demanding the court take action to locate the proper will (i.e. injunctions, restraining orders, etc.)
- Seeking to admit the proper will
- Representing your interests in collecting under the proper will
Work With an Inheritance Recovery Attorney to Win Your Rightful Inheritance
If you have any reason to suspect that an inaccurate will is being used to distribute a loved one’s estate, whether through fraud or carelessness, The Inheritance Recovery Attorneys are here to help. We have extensive experience in understanding and litigating the nuances and complexities of California probate code, and we have spent countless hours spent in the courtroom aggressively fighting on behalf of injured plaintiffs. We offer contingency pricing on will contest matters, meaning we collect no legal fee unless we win on your behalf. Contact one of the dedicated team members at The Inheritance Recovery Attorneys to see how we can help you in getting the recovery you deserve in your probate or trust matter.