Are you a beneficiary of an estate in Hawaii and believe that the document submitted for probate is not accurate or is legally invalid? Do you believe that another party had undue influence on your loved one, leading up to your loved one’s death and that the document submitted for probate does not fall in line with what your loved one would have really wanted?
Although not every circumstance entitles you to file a legal claim with the support of a Hawaii contested wills lawyer, there are many different circumstances that can enable you to recover further clarity about this situation. A person is able to challenge the validity of a will in Hawaii by opening a will contested or a contested will claim. In some cases, you might have been left out of the will intentionally by the testator and this could lead you to assume that this was an estate planning mistake. However, if there are other factors indicating that something else was at play, you may be able to open a will contest with the support of an attorney. The laws regarding making an valid will in Hawaii are found in HI Rev Stat § 560:2-501 and § 560:2-502.
What You Need to Know About Contesting a Will in Hawaii?
Courts in Hawaii will not allow you to open a will challenge like this even when you have a contested will lawyer in Hawaii if there is not a very good reason for making these allegations.
Claims such as duress or undue influence might be legal grounds for you to open a contested will case but it can be very difficult to gather the evidence to prove these in court. If you believe that a will was obtained through duress and the named beneficiary was in some type of position of trust or power with respect to the decedent, and is not someone who would typically eb expected to get a large gift in the will, this can at least raise suspicions of something going on out of line. But these facts, in and of themselves are not enough to prove duress.
Another common reason for opening a will challenge in Hawaii are claims over mental capacity. If the testator was not in tehri right mind at the time of crafting the will, the entire document could be invalidated. You will need to recognize the challenges in gathering the necessary evidence to showcase why you believe this to be the case.
Medical records or statements from doctors who were treating your loved one at the time can help to further raise the suspicion about these concerns. Contesting a will can be an emotional and confusing experience. This is especially because not every party is entitled to open a will challenge and simply being frustrated with the outcome of a will does not suffice as legal grounds to open a claim. It is important that if you believe you have grounds to contest a will in Hawaii that you do so as soon as possible. An interested party does have the rights to contest a will in Hawaii before the first of these following factors expire.
- 30 days from the entry of a formal order of proving the settlement and accounts of the estate from an informally appointed estate personal representative.
- 12 months from the date the will was informally admitted to the probate process.
- 90 days after receiving notice of an informal proceeding.
Another circumstance that can allow the opening of a will challenge is when an interested person intends to do so after the expiration of the stated limitation periods if informal probate gets closed informally and that closing is not approved by a judge, or if informal probate proceeding notice was not given. In these cases, however, the challenge must be commenced no later than 5 years after the decedent’s date of death.
As you can see there are many complex factors involved in contesting a will in Hawaii and it is up to you to schedule a consultation with an experienced Hawaii will contest attorney as soon as possible.