When someone contests the validity of a will or certain provisions, it can cause many complications and delays in the probate process. If you are named as the executor of an estate, part of your duties include defending the will against attacks by actual or potential beneficiaries. If a will contest arises, you need the help of an experienced probate lawyer in Pleasanton right away. The right law firm can assist in the following ways, among others.
Contacting the Original Lawyer
It is important that we contact the lawyer who assisted the decedent in drafting and/or amending the will. This attorney will be a critical witness who can attest to the circumstances under which the will was drafted and signed. This includes testifying to the decedent’s mental capacity at the time and whether someone might have been unduly influencing them to change the terms of the will.
Filing an Answer
A will contest begins with a complaint filed with the probate court, and it is necessary to file a well-prepared answer to the complaint within the set period of time. Our attorneys help executors properly respond to complaints in will contest cases.
Gather Documents and Witnesses
Probate attorneys will know which documents and records to gather to support any changes made to the will. Additionally, the decedent cannot testify to their mindset or intentions at the time of the will creation or amendments. For this reason, witnesses who can attest to the health and mental capacity of the decedent are critical to defending the validity of a will. Witnesses might include family members, caretakers, treating physicians, or witnesses to the will signing.
Contact a Probate Lawyer in Pleasanton for Assistance
The Pleasanton probate attorneys at Randick O’Dea & Tooliatos, LLP, represent executors during probate administration and litigation. Call (510) 344-2599 or contact us online if you need legal counsel today.