Did you think you were going to be the beneficiary of a loved one’s Connecticut estate and have recently discovered that the will submitted to probate did not contain what you expected? While many people can be frustrated or disappointed with the outcome of a loved one’s estate, this does not always prompt a valid will contest. As a Connecticut will contest lawyer might inform you, you need to have standing to move forward with a claim like this and have legal grounds on which to allege the will should be contested. Note that the rules related to how a will must be created and executed in order to be valid are found in C.G.S. § 45a-250 and 45a-251.
Understanding Will Contests in Connecticut
In Connecticut, even the most carefully planned wills can be disputed in court by the beneficiaries who become aware of the will’s existence after the decedent passes away. In some cases, disputes can be resolved by working out an agreement between heirs but in other cases this might require a trip to court with the support of a Connecticut will contest lawyer.
It you are a beneficiary of an estate and a will contest has recently been filed, you need to contact someone with experience to ensure that your rights are fully protected. You may need support in the entire process of estate distribution and in submitting evidence either to defend or challenge the will contest.
Grounds for Challenging a Will in Connecticut
Simply being disappointed with the verbiage inside the will does not render it invalid. There are, however, numerous grounds for challenging the validity of a trust or a will. These include:
- Undue influence, meaning that the will was made under duress or force.
- Improper execution, such as missing legal formalities.
- Testamentary capacity, which alleges that the testator was incompetent at the time he or she made this will.
When an issue emerges, this can lead to lengthy and costly probate disputes. The support of an experienced will contest attorney in Connecticut can be instrumental in helping to resolve disputes between an executor of an estate and potential beneficiaries. All interested parties will have a stake in the outcome of a will contest challenge and it is important to educate yourself as a beneficiary about the potential outcomes in these cases and what to do next.
Will contest litigation in Connecticut can be disruptive and costly. It is often possible, however, to find solutions that protect the wishes of a loved one while also avoiding the expensive path of a dispute. The specifics of your will contest case should always be discussed with a lawyer before moving forward with a legal claim. This can help you avoid costly mistakes or errors. If you were concerned that your loved one was under duress at the time that they changed or wrote a will, if you are an individual who has been accused of exerting undue influence over another person as they wrote a will, you deserve to have legal counsel. Disputes involving the validity of terms of wills and administrations of estates raise unique emotional concerns for family members. Working closely with you, an experienced will contest attorney serving Connecticut can help you to understand your role in this overall court case. There may be reasons to believe, for example, that a loved one did not have the mental capacity to make a sound judgement at the time that they changed or wrote a will. You may be concerned about a caregiver or a recent romantic partner who had extreme influence over your loved one’s actions in the days or weeks leading up to their death.
In all of these circumstances, if you were the one alleging that the will is invalid, it falls to you to gather the evidence to prove this. You’ll need experienced representation who has years of background handling complex cases like this.