Contested Estates

One's last will and testament with gold and money

Contested Estates Attorney Serving Lake County and Cook County

Amid the grief and stress of a passing, it is common for disputes to arise between family members. Disagreements between siblings, cousins, step-relatives, parents, aunts, uncles, and others can erupt, often centering on provision in a will or trust. The feuding often spills into the courtroom, with one party challenging a will, trust, or other aspect of the estate planning process.

Residents in Chicago, Northbrook, and all of Lake County including the North Shore communities often find themselves embroiled in these legal battles.

  • Disagreements among Family Members
  • Family Feuds involving personal property
  • Feuding over Estate Assets
  • Property Disputes including what to do with Real Estate
  • Family Feuding over Estate Assets
  • Disagreements on Inheritance
  • Challenging a Will or Trust

Challenging a Will or Trust in Northbrook

Whenever an estate is “contested” a range of possible legal issues arise. In most cases, the party attacking a will or trust must prove one of the following to successful challenge:

1) That the will or trust was a product of “undue influence by another party.
2) That the individual making the will or trust was not legally competent at the time of drafting.
3) That the document was rooted in fraud.

At other times, the specific language of the will may lead to disagreement. If estate planning documents are not written clearly, then questions about the intended provisions may arise. These cases do not question the validity of the documents but merely their interpretation.

Our contested estates attorneys can explain which of these options is most likely to arise in your case.

Advocacy for Cook and Lake County Will and Trust Disputes

Estate planning lawsuits often involve complex legal arguments and vigorous disagreements. For this reason, whether you are trying to challenge the validity of a will or trust or defending against attack from another, it is essential to have experienced advocates on your side.

Estate Planning: Contested Estates

The four most common legal grounds for contesting a will or trust are the following:

  • Undue influence. One child exerts undue influence on a parent in order to take a bigger share of the estate. For example, a son threatens to put his mother in a nursing home unless she leaves a bigger share of the estate to him.
  • Incompetence. If the person making the will or trust was not of sound mind, or did not understand the meaning of the document, then its validity is questionable.
  • Fraud. If a person makes a will or trust based on lies or deception, the document is invalid. For example, a daughter falsely tells her parent that her brother is engaging in criminal activity.
  • Ambiguous language. The meaning of a provision is unclear, or it can be interpreted in different ways.

The Contested Estate attorneys at Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd. have years of experience representing residents throughout the North Shore and Chicago on these matters. Timing is critical in all litigation matters, and so you should not delay in securing an advocate to represent your interests.

For a Free initial consultation please send us a message online or give us a call at (847) 325-5559. We are here to help.

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