If you suspect that there is something wrong within a will, evaluation and counsel from a will contest lawyer in California is instrumental in helping you decide your next steps and the rights available to you. Trying to handle this kind of case on your own can expose you to risks and mistakes.
Many people make the mistake of waiting to see what happens and missing out on their opportunity to contest a will. They could even be bullied or suggested to avoid filing a will contest as this could cause problems such as delay in estate administration. You may be eligible to initiate legal action in a California court on your own for a will contest so long as you are not an executor, trustee, or agent of the deceased.
Understanding the Complexity of These Cases
Both the California Code of Civil Procedure and the California Probate Code can influence the outcomes of these cases. Bringing together these two different areas of law adds to the complexity of these kinds of cases that can be beyond basic concerns about the validity of a will. To know how to navigate a trust or will contest, you may want to have a professional in your corner who can advise you about the kinds of evidence that can help to support your claim and the next steps that you should take if you should find yourself in it. The support of an attorney can answer many of your questions in a timely fashion and ensure that you do not make any of the costly mistakes associated with far too many will contest cases.
Some cases might also require bringing in an expert under the California Welfare Institution’s code if there is an allegation of financial elder abuse. If there are any creditors’ claims against the estate, this can further complicate the situation and could be a separate lawsuit. This means that you could have as many as three or four distinct lawsuits to file related to one will.
Once you file the lawsuits, you will need to discover all of the relevant evidence which must come in under the California Discovery Act. If the case is not settled before the point of trial, this is where the California Evidence Code comes into play when your case gets elevated to the point of going to trial. You’ll have many questions at this stage in the case and cannot afford to make mistakes, so retaining a lawyer who has worked in this field for some time can be very helpful for ensuring proper procedure.
Talk to our Pasadena estate planning law firm attorneys if you have further questions about this process.