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What to Do If You Think Your Loved One’s Will Is Fraudulent

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneysImagine this scenario: Your elderly grandmother has lived with a caretaker for several years. She passes away and upon reading her will, you find that your grandmother has left all of her assets and belongings to the caretaker and none to her children or grandchildren. For many people, this would raise red flags. There are countless scenarios like this which lead to families contesting the validity of a loved one’s will.

When Should a Will Be Contested?

If you think that your loved one’s will does not accurately reflect his or her final wishes, you should contest it. Contesting the will means that you are asking the courts to deem the will invalid. Probate courts in Illinois can invalidate a will for several specific reasons. Firstly, a will can be thrown out if can be shown that the deceased person, or the decedent, was unduly influenced by someone during the will's creation. For example, in the hypothetical scenario above, the caretaker could have coerced the elderly grandmother to leave her property to him instead of her family.

If the decedent is elderly or suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or another debilitating condition, he or she may not have been cognitively capable of consenting to the will’s creating or modification. The decedent must have been able to understand the directives set out in the will. This is called testamentary capacity. A person without testamentary capacity cannot create a valid will.

Family members should also contest a will if they believe the will was forged or fraudulently created. If the will was not created by the decedent, or with his or her informed consent, it cannot be considered valid. Similarly, if the decedent created a will and then it was altered by another person without his or her knowledge, the whole will can be thrown out and deemed invalid. Lastly, if the decedent signs the will without knowing the directives it contained regarding his or her property and final wishes, it can be set aside

Where Should I Start?

If you believe that your loved one’s will has been forged or otherwise does not reflect the decedent’s real wishes, contact a Lombard estate administration attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at A. Traub & Associates will help you determine if the will in question is able to be contested and if so, will guide you through every step of the probate process. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation of your case today.

 

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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