If you were expecting an inheritance, learning that you have been disinherited from an estate could be devastating. You were probably expecting the money or property and had been counting on receiving it. In this situation, you have a few possible options, such as speaking to a lawyer, appealing to the probate court for help, or deciding to move on.
Speak to a Lawyer About the Estate
Sometimes, you feel more than just upset about not being included in the will. You may have reason to believe that you were wrongly disinherited. In that case, you should speak to a lawyer about your concerns. The lawyer will talk to you about possible reasons for overturning a will or changing the inheritances. These reasons could include:
- The deceased person did not have legal capacity to make a will
- Someone unduly influenced the deceased person as to the contents of the will
- There is a newer will with different terms
- The will was not witnessed or signed properly
- A spouse or child is not included in the will, but the will was written before the marriage or birth
Whether you have a case for disputing the will depends on the specific circumstances at hand, so you should speak to a lawyer before taking the next step – going to court.
Appealing to the Probate Court
You can bring genuine legal disputes about wills to the local probate court. The judge will consider evidence and decide a dispute revolving around a will or a deceased person’s wishes. However, keep in mind that you must have a legal reason for disputing the will, not just dissatisfaction about who inherits what. Talk to your lawyer to learn more about the probate court process.
Moving on from an Inheritance Dispute
Often, it is better to move on from an inheritance dispute if you do not have a legal basis to dispute the will. You might have considered talking to the executor or the heirs, but they do not have the power to change the will. The executor is bound by the law to distribute the estate according to the will. So in the end, you may have to accept the will’s terms, no matter how little you like them. Consider doing some estate planning of your own instead of worrying about the will.
Need help with an estate or will issue? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.