What Is The Success Rate Of Contesting A Will Or Estate?

When someone drafts a will and many beneficiaries could benefit, there is a chance someone will be disappointed. This can happen because the estate has insufficient assets for everyone to receive what they want. There also may be conflicts when the person passes away when someone is omitted as an heir or beneficiary. Learn more below about this subject, then speak to our Lincolnshire estate planning attorneys at Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd., for legal guidance. Challenging a will can be difficult, and skilled legal assistance is essential in this matter.

How To Contest A Will In Illinois

When someone does not get what they wanted or is left out of the will, there is a chance it could be contested. There are several reasons a will or estate can be challenged in Illinois. Perhaps someone maintains that the decedent was unduly influenced when the document was drafted, or they lacked the mental capacity to understand their will and estate plan.

Before deciding to challenge a will in Illinois, it is essential to understand how likely the effort will succeed. The first thing to understand is if the decedent used a licensed Lincolnshire estate planning lawyer for their estate plan, the odds of challenging it successfully are remote. A skilled estate planning lawyer can anticipate challenges. The attorney will likely take extensive steps to ensure the will is difficult to contest when drafting it. Licensed estate planning attorneys can nip many challenges in the bud with proper, careful legal planning.

Illinois Law Assumes Competence

The state’s laws assume that the person who drafted the will was legally competent. So, if you want to challenge the document, you must provide convincing evidence to the probate court that the person who signed the will lacked the mental capacity to do so. Proving this is difficult, especially when a competent attorney writes the will.

However, the chances of a successful challenge are greater if there is any sign in the decedent’s medical records that hint at possible mental incapacity. For instance, if the decedent had an early-stage dementia diagnosis in their medical record, you could point to this fact in a will or estate challenge.

Was There A Fiduciary Relationship?

Also, the odds of a successful challenge rise if you can prove there was a fiduciary relationship between the decedent and someone who received significant assets in the document. This could suggest a form of coercion or financial pressure. For instance, if a real estate professional received four investment properties in the will and the children did not receive any, and the agent helped to modify the will, a successful challenge is possible.

The bottom line is that will and estate challenges are difficult in Illinois. So, have the case reviewed by a skilled attorney to determine if a challenge has a significant chance of success.

Contact Our Lincolnshire Estate Planning Attorneys Now

Contesting a will in Illinois is difficult but possible. However, according to the law, you must have a valid reason to challenge a will. Please contact our Lincolnshire estate planning attorneys at Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd., today at (847) 325-5559 for legal assistance.

Updated as of July 2019
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