It is recommended that if you believe you have grounds to contest a will, that you initiate this claim with the courts as soon as possible. California enables will contest to be filed on numerous different grounds by interested parties who can be creditors, heirs or beneficiaries named in the will. In order to initiate a will contest, you must have grounds or a reason that is covered under California law, and must have your claim accepted by the court to contest a will.
Any interested party is able to challenge the will if the document fails to meet the legal standard for wills or if fraud was involved in creation of the will. You might also be able to contest the will if the deceased party was not mentally competent when the will was created.
The time limit that you have to initiate a will contest depends on where the estate is currently at in the probate process in California. If you contest the will after the initial hearing for the probate petition, you only have 120 days from that hearing date to initiate your own petition to argue that the will should be revoked and that some or all of its conditions should be ignored.
If you’re not yet sure whether you qualify as an interested party, schedule time to speak with a lawyer who can help you put together the right documents. The right Pasadena estate planning lawyer can help to simplify this process so you know exactly what to expect.