Do you believe that a will recently submitted to probate for a deceased family member is not the accurate document or was indeed procured by fraud? Any circumstances where you believe that the will submitted to probate should not be treated as though it is the accurate will, you need to share this information with an Arkansas will contest lawyer. Navigating the complex process of arguing that a will is not valid, either in part or in whole, can be very complicated and can bring tension to your family members. For this reason retaining someone with experience is the natural next step to verify that you both have the standing to initiate such a claim and will be prepared for the process of what it entails. Note that the laws related to wills in Arkansas are found in AR Code § 28-24-101 et seq.
Standing to Contest a Wil in Arkansas
In some cases, the standing you have may open the door for you to file a will contest but the proof you have in alleging that the will is not valid might not be strong enough to make a case. In these circumstances the support of an experienced professional can help you avoid mistakes made in filing or might even lead you to think twice about filing altogether. Not every party is eligible to initiate a will contest and the courts take these claims seriously but will want to see these allegations backed up by solid proof. If you are not familiar with typical reasons for alleging a will contest, you’ll want to contact an experienced Arkansas will contest lawyer as soon as possible.
Recognizing the Process of Will Contests in Arkansas
If you are the one who alleges that the will submitted to probate is not accurate, you are the contestant. You need to file a written objection with the county court overseeing the formal probate process. You will typically need to file this prior to the probate hearing for the estate.
There are certain circumstances that can extend this timeframe until the estate’s final distribution. However, this is typically only open to those individuals who have found the existence of another will and are using that as their proof to open the claim.
As a will contest attorney serving Arkansas can advise you, it is important to have all of the details upfront and to be clear about the grounds on which you are contesting the will. Simply being disappointed with the distributions outlined in the will is not enough to render it legally invalid. A will is typically contested when a family member who anticipated receiving an asset or a substantial amount of money from the will is disappointed with the contents. You might automatically assume that this is a result of force, fraud or forgery.
Factors That Will Invalidate a Will
One reason that a will could be invalidated is mental incompetence of the testator, meaning that the person who created and signed this will was not aware of what they were doing and did not have the appropriate mental capacity to execute such a document at this time. This can be one of the most complicated and difficult aspects of a will contest to prove, however. Another reason that you may have a will invalidated is because it was obtained through duress, such as a physical threat or actual physical harm.
Duress is very difficult to prove after the fact so think carefully about whether or not you have proof. There are many other factors that could influence a will’s validity status, including whether or not it was appropriately executed per Arkansas law or whether the undue influence of an outside party substantially changed the distribution intentions. In all of these cases, you need to have the support of an experienced will contest attorney in Arkansas who has been in these circumstances before and who can advise you about what to anticipate.