When a beloved family member has passed away and the will has been read, there may be objections from the surviving family members who want to contest the will. Those who want to know how to contest a will in Michigan look to a probate or trust attorney, who is specially trained in these complicated areas of the law. Utilizing the services of a lawyer who can help you sift through the complexities of probate issues can help families settle issues related to estates in a way that is as peaceful and as fair as possible.
It’s not uncommon for families to want to contest a will in Michigan when they thought they had been promised a treasured item or a large amount of cash from a loved one and they ended up not getting it after that loved one had passed on. The stress of a death in the family can often make these issues even more heated, as the emotions involved can be very intense. A skilled trust attorney will help families sort out and resolve these issues outside of probate court. In particularly difficult situations where a compromise between two sides cannot be reached, the issues will go to court for a final ruling by a judge.
Steps to Contest a Will
If you need to know how to contest a will in Michigan because you feel that the will is invalid or if a member of the family wants challenge a will that is being administered by you, you need an attorney who is experienced with contest cases. Any time there is a will being contested, the emotions will be running high, so it’s important to work with someone who has the experience to help you work through the issues calmly and expediently.
Grounds for Contesting a Will in Michigan
While the grounds for contesting a will vary from case to case, most cases will involve one of the following:
- A later will: If there was a will that was made after the initial will, then the new will replaces the older one, as long as it meets the requirements.
- Incapacity: When a will is made, the person must be “of sound mind’ . If this requirement isn’t met, then the will can be contested.
- Case of undue influence: If the person who made the will was considered to be under “undue influence” that forced them to make the will according to the wishes of someone else.
- Forgery: A will can be contested and voided if any part of the will, including the terms and signatures, are found to be forged.
Contesting a will is significant and can be difficult for all parties involved. Working with a probate attorney who has experience in this area of the law is the best way to ensure that your case is handled fairly and professionally. There is a statute of limitations when it comes to these types of cases, so don’t wait before it’s too late to start your case.