When it comes to dealing with the loss of a loved one, a last will and testament can simplify matters greatly. Pennsylvania estates that are dictated by a written will may still be contested with valid reason. For example, if the will is deemed unfair by the potential beneficiaries, the process of contesting it may begin. The process of contesting a will begins after the will has been admitted to probate and all beneficiaries have been notified.
In most cases, people can only contest a will within a limited time period, which varies from state to state. In some cases, the court may grant an extension, but it is still advisable for the party contesting the will to respond as soon as possible.
Any beneficiary is eligible to contest the will, but he or she must sign a verified complaint in the county where the deceased most recently lived. This document must also be accompanied by an order to show cause. In most cases, a will may be invalidated only with claims of undue influence and a lack of capacity. Proofs for contesting wills usually involve financial and medical records as well as testimony from the attorney who drafted the will and other witnesses.
Contesting a will is a stressful process, and an attorney may be able to help ensure that it goes smoothly. From the initial filing to providing supporting evidence that the will is invalid, an attorney can provide crucial representation and assist the plaintiff in building a strong case. An attorney can also provide guidance when it comes to meeting court requirements and deadlines.