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Phoenix Wills Attorney

Challenging a Will

When a person passes away and leaves a will, those named or not named in the will sometimes disagree with its terms.  Such disagreements can lead to a Phoenix will dispute.

Although this is often a difficult process for everyone involved, the numerous reasons for pursuing a dispute include:

  • Reason to doubt the validity of the will. One example is that the maker of the will did not have his or her signature witnessed by two individuals over the age of 18.  Another example may be that the will is a suspected forgery.
  • Lack of testamentary capacity. This means the maker of the will did not have the mental capacity to understand its implications.  Examples include those suffering from dementia, insanity, senility, or other cognitive impairment.
  • Fraud. When fraud is committed in regards to a will, it means the testator (will-maker) did not have full understanding of what it meant to sign, or was deliberately mislead in doing so.  This is called fraud in the factum.
  • Undue influence. Essentially, this means the maker of the will was put into some type of uncomfortable circumstance, and that these circumstances, not his or her true wishes, lead to that person signing the will.  Examples include threats of physical harm, but can also involve mental or emotional coercion.

Contesting a will in Phoenix

In order to enter into a Phoenix will contest, you must either be named in the will, or have an excellent reason why you were not and feel you should be.  Certain wills include what are known as no-contest clauses, which means anyone disputing the will is automatically left out of it.  However, since this stipulation is often part of the will itself, a successful challenge to the will renders it null and void.

The concept of fairness is also one not considered by the Courts when interpreting a will.  Just because a person disagrees with the wishes of the deceased does not necessarily create grounds to dispute the will.  Legally, the maker of the will has the right to say or do whatever they want in their will, providing the will itself it valid.

Seek experienced legal representation

It is safe to say that a will dispute in Phoenix is not a simple process.  It takes a strong, knowledgeable, and determined attorney to make the dispute work in your favor.  John R. Fitzpatrick and his associates are acknowledged to be among the best in the business when it comes to will and trust law.  Contact this firm today at 602-277-2010 to ensure your chances of a speedy and successful dispute resolution.