Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Estate & Probate Litigation

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Estate & Probate LitigationDoes a will have to be filed when someone dies? There is no requirement that an existing will be filed upon someone’s death. However, it may be necessary to file a will to properly transfer property or an interest in property held by the deceased by his or her wishes.

  • What if a will is not filed? If a will is not filed, one with standing may file a petition with the probate court asking that those in possession of a will file it or asking to proceed with administering the estate of the deceased without a will.

  • Can you dispute a will after it’s been filed? Once a will is filed for probate, everyone with an interest in the estate should have the opportunity to contest the will. But, one must act quickly or that right can be extinguished.

  • How do I dispute a will? A will can be disputed or contested in several ways for various reasons but must be done formally with the probate court where the will is filed.

  • What if there is more than one will? If there is more than one will and there is a legitimate basis to question the authenticity or effect of either, the probate court must determine which will govern. This is done through pleadings and evidentiary matters presented to the probate court.

  • Is a handwritten will valid? In certain situations, a handwritten will can be accepted for probate by the court. It depends on how the will is witnessed and whether it meets the other requirements of a valid will under the law.

    The lawyer Richardson Maples has extensive experience dealing with these types of cases. Contact us today at (256) 533-2440.