A Louisiana will contest lawyer can assist you if you or other beneficiaries that you believe are entitled to a portion of the estate have evidence indicating that a will is invalid or procured by fraud. The support of an experienced will contest attorney in Louisiana can help you avoid contentious, costly and time consuming will contests if you do not have the appropriate standing or legal evidence to pursue a will contest.
Beginnings of Will Contests
In most cases, contesting a last will and testament in Louisiana typically begins with a family member who is not satisfied with that the way a submitted will is written or executed. Overturning a will, however, can have unintended and difficult results for your entire family, which is why it is important to retain a will contest lawyer in Louisiana to help you.
One of the most important things to remember as a potential beneficiary is that a will can be challenged within 5 years from the date that it is admitted to probate within Louisiana. This is a long time when looked at in the context of other states and jurisdiction but a person who brings forward a will contest should always evaluate their rights by speaking specifically with an attorney who has extensive experience in this area of the law. Discovering that you don’t have the appropriate grounds to file a claim or that the evidence will be unlikely to hold up in court and can only add further problems to your overall family situation can help you avoid unnecessary costs and time involvement.
Grounds for Contesting a Will in Louisiana
There are several different grounds under which an interested party can initiate a will contest in Louisiana. One or more of these might apply to individual cases. The first of these is lack of capacity in which a beneficiary is making a claim that the testator was unable to understand the consequences and nature of their act when executing the testament, usually due to inappropriate mental capacity. The second common concern is fraud or mistake, which includes those situations in which a testator was mistaken or confused about what they were signing. A forged will can also serve as the grounds for a will contest which is when someone other than the testator signed the will as a forgery.
A revoked will is another reason that you may believe you have grounds to file a will contest in Louisiana. In these cases, you may be privy to the knowledge that a more recent version of the testator’s will exists and that the one that was submitted to probate is not accurate. Improper form can also lead to the invalidation of a will. There are two primary types of wills recognized as valid in Louisiana, which are holographic wills and notarial wills.
Undue influence refers to situations in which a testator was unduly influenced to leave a significant amount or their entire estate to someone who had impact on them in the final years of their life, such as a new romantic partner or a caregiver. Finally, a will can eb rendered invalid due to failing to adhere to formalities in the execution of the will. An example is that witnesses and the notary signing the document must be in the same room at the time the document was signed and the testator has to sign specific declarations within the will indicating they understand.
There are many complex facets of moving forward with a will contest in Louisiana and you should never do this on your own because the potential for making mistakes is quite high. Retaining an experienced attorney is the best way to guard yourself against these negative outcomes.