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Wills Contests Attorney Serving Kansas City, Missouri

It often happens that an individual’s last will and testament (will) becomes the cause of disputes and litigation. Heirs and beneficiaries may contest a will for a number of reasons, including but not limited to fraud, undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, and improper execution of the document.   

At The Probate Law Center, our will contest attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, provides legal counsel and assists clients through the process of challenging the validity of a will. We have an office in Kansas City, Missouri, but proudly serve clients in Jackson, Clay, Cass, Platte, Lafayette, and Johnson on the Missouri side, as well as Wyandotte, Johnson, Miami, and Leavenworth on the Kansas side.

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Contesting a Will 

When someone dies, their last will and testament are offered for probate. During the probate process, the court examines the will’s validity to ensure the document is genuine and reflects the wishes of the deceased. However, certain parties, including the deceased person’s heirs and beneficiaries, can challenge the validity of a will through a legal action called a “will contest.”    

Who Can Contest? 

A person’s ability to contest a will depends on their relationship to the deceased. Generally, there are two parties who may have legal standing to initiate a will contest:   

  1. beneficiaries of the deceased person’s will;   

  1. the decedent’s heirs who were not mentioned in the will but believe they have a right to inheritance.   

If you fall into any of these two groups of people, you will want to get legal counsel before proceeding with legal action. An attorney will help verify whether or not you have legal standing to challenge the validity of the will based on your circumstances and the laws in your jurisdiction.   

Reasons to Contest a Will  

Generally, courts do not allow people to contest a will simply because they do not agree with what has been written in the document. Instead, the court determines whether the person initiating a will contest has valid grounds for challenging the will’s validity. Some of the grounds (reasons) to contest a will include:  

  • the document was not signed or witnessed;  

  • the person creating the will (the testator) was not of sound mind when the document was made;   

  • the testator was subject to undue influence;   

  • someone pressured the testator into drafting provisions against their wishes;   

  • someone used fraudulent means to influence the provisions of the document; or  

  • the testator’s signature is forged.   

These are not the only grounds to contest a will. Discuss your specific case with a will contest attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, to determine if you can contest your relative’s will.   

What Is the Will Contest Process? 

The process of contesting a will includes the following steps:   

  • Hire an experienced attorney. Challenging the validity of a will can be complicated, which is why hiring a will contest attorney can positively impact your chances of securing a favorable outcome.   

  • Determine that you have legal standing and grounds. A consultation with an attorney will help you determine whether or not you have legal standing or grounds to contest a relative’s will. Your attorney will also explain the legal procedure.   

  • File a petition with the probate court. Filing a petition is a formal notice that you wish to contest the decedent’s will.   

  • Consider the statute of limitations. If you wish to challenge a will, you must follow a petition within the applicable statute of limitations. If you pursue a will contest after the deadline passes, you will lose your right to dispute the validity of the will. Your attorney will explain the statute of limitations in your jurisdiction.  

It is vital to work with an attorney who will direct you through the process and help you secure a favorable outcome when contesting the decedent’s will.   

Why You Should Work With an Attorney to Contest a Will 

If you want to contest a relative’s will in Kansas or Missouri, you should understand the laws surrounding will contests in your respective state. That is why it is a good idea to seek legal assistance from an attorney in your case.   

The outcome of your will contest case depends on the availability of evidence to prove your argument. A skilled attorney can help you strengthen your case by gathering all the necessary evidence and documentation. Each case is unique, which is why the evidence you need to prove your case depends on the reason for challenging the will, your relationship with the deceased person, and other factors.   

Keep in mind that time is of the essence when it comes to pursuing legal action to contest someone’s will. There is a time limit to contest a will, which is why you should not delay getting legal counsel if you wish to dispute the validity of a will. By working with an attorney, you can have peace of mind knowing that your interests are protected throughout the legal proceedings.   

Will Contest Attorney Serving Kansas City, Missouri 

If you think you have legal standing and grounds to contest a loved one’s will, reach out to our attorney at The Probate Law Center. Our will contest attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, can provide you with the advice and guidance you need to make an informed decision about whether or not it makes sense to dispute the validity of the decedent’s will. Get in touch today to request a case evaluation.