Probate and Estate FAQ

  1. When can a will or trust be contested?
    A will or trust can be contested for a variety of reasons, including:

    • Coercion or Undue Influence
      Family members, friends, and other parties cannot pressure someone to sign their will or trust if he or she does not agree with the terms.
    • Forgery
      Wills and trusts can be contested when their authenticity cannot be verified.
    • Fraud
      There may be grounds to contest the terms of a will or trust in court if there is evidence the decedent—or the loved one who died—was misled about the contents of the documents he or she signed.
    • Improper Execution
      When a will is not signed by the decedent, its terms may be disputed in court.
    • Mental Incapacity of the Decedent
      If the decedent was not fit to sign a will or trust due to mental health issues, the terms of the document may be challenged in probate court.
  2. Why do I need a probate lawyer during an estate dispute?
    Experienced probate lawyers handle estate disputes every day, and they can assist you with:

    • Interpreting complex estate laws.
    • Investigating the terms of your loved one’s will.
    • Gathering the evidence you need to prove your case.
    • Proving your allegations in probate court.

    At CBC Law Group, we’re here to ensure the intent of your loved one’s final wishes are honored and that you’re treated fairly during the probate process.

  3. I don’t agree with my loved one’s executor or trustee. What can I do?
    You may have the right to dispute an executor or trustee if it can be proven that he or she:

    • Acts fraudulently.
    • Does not support the best interests of the parties involved in the estate.
    • Does not have the knowledge necessary to fulfill the duties of the role.
    • Fails to make payments specified by the will or trust.
  4. What if my loved one’s will or trust has a “no contest” clause?
    No contest or “in terrorem” clauses are often included in wills and trusts to discourage potential estate disputes. However, different states interpret these clauses in different ways, and parties within an estate often retain the right to dispute a will or trust in good faith.
  5. Is there a time limit to file an estate dispute lawsuit?
    Yes. Every state has its own legal deadline—or statute of limitations—for filing estate dispute lawsuits in probate court. If you suspect litigation will be required to resolve your estate dispute, speak with one of our attorneys as soon as possible.