Contested Wills

St. Louis and St. Charles Contested Will Attorneys

Representing clients involved in disputes regarding wills

Wills exist to memorialize a person’s wishes as to what happens to their estate upon their death. When a loved one dies, emotions can run high and family members can become embroiled in disagreements. This is particularly true if there are significant assets at stake or if there are pre-existing issues that exist between family members. In addition, after the death of a loved one relatives may have emotional or sentimental attachments to certain pieces of property that cannot be divided. As a result, wills are sometimes challenged by individuals who are unhappy with the terms of the document or who believe that there were issues with the way the document was created. Because of the complicated nature of this area of law, it is important for any party involved in a will dispute to retain legal counsel immediately.

Reasons to Contest a Will

In order to challenge a will, you must have a legal reason to believe the will is invalid. You may not contest a will simply because you disagree with one or more provisions. The four main legal reasons for contesting a will are as follows:

Legal formalities were not followed— Missouri has specific requirements for will formation to be valid. The law requires that a will be in writing, be signed, and that at least two witnesses also sign. If these requirements are not met, the will may be found invalid.

The individual lacked the capacity to make the will— At the time the will was formed, the individual must have the mental capacity to understand the nature of their property, the persons who should logically receive that property, and the legal magnitude of signing a will.

The individual was the victim of undue influence— If another person physically or mentally pressured the deceased person into forming a will with certain provisions, those provisions or the entire will may be found invalid.
The individual was induced by fraud—If the individual does not realize they are signing a will or is otherwise tricked into signing, the court will likely find the will invalid.

Contact an experienced St. Charles contested wills attorney for assistance

If you believe that you have reason to contest a will in Missouri, an experienced trusts and estates attorney can help you with your case. We will investigate to ensure that you have every chance possible to contest a suspected invalid will, so please do not hesitate to contact a lawyer at our office to schedule a consultation to discuss a potential case. Call (636) 947-3600.