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Is There Anything I Can Do If My Step-Father Took Everything In My Mother's Will?
The Execution Of My Mother’s Will Was Not Supervised By An Attorney, And My Step-Father Took Everything. Is There Anything I Can Do?
Before the assets of a deceased person can be distributed, a will must be probated and an executor appointed. You can hire an attorney, though not required because the heirs have a right to contest the provisions of the will and the validity of the document itself.
There are a number of reasons why you might consider petitioning the court to review your mother’s will. Did she have another will, which named you as executor, then suddenly change her mind on her death bed? Was she competent enough to sign the document? These are questions that can only be answered by a judge in determining the validity of the will executed by your step-father. An experienced probate attorney can help you determine if legal action is going to work in your favor.
Why Should I Hire A Probate Attorney?
Because the probate process (i.e., legal proceedings) can be very complex, especially if an adversary contests your claim(s). The basis to challenging validity depends on the situation, which includes undue influence– when a beneficiary manipulated or pressured the deceased person into signing a will– fraud, and an assertion that the deceased person was not mentally competent at the time of signing. The fine line between the deceased being mentally competent at the time of signing and not is one that can only be legally determined by a magistrate– probate attorneys train for years to argue this very point.
The fees of a probate attorney vary by area, but larger estates may result in higher fees, depending on complexity. As an heir, if so stated in the will, you have a right to review the will even after it has been executed. Again, you can do this by contesting its validity based on a number of things. The quick rule is: if something doesn’t feel right, investigate. Hire a lawyer to ensure that justice is done not only for the deceased, but for the surviving family members as well.
Contact Kamerow Law Firm today for questions regarding your legal rights at 703-370-8088.