Are You Contesting a Will Codicil?
A San Francisco Probate Litigation Attorney Can Guide You Through the Process
A will codicil refers to an amendment to an existing will. It must follow the statutory procedures of a formal will to be valid. Imagine this scenario. After the death of the testator — the person who wrote the will — a codicil appears. It could then change the original will. This may cause family members or other beneficiaries to suspect that something is amiss. They might believe that the testator made the will amendment because of undue influence, a lack of mental capacity or fraud. Thus, they might consider legally contesting a will codicil
Challenging a will or a codicil can be difficult, but it is not impossible. However, you will need an experienced San Francisco probate litigation attorney working with you . Such a professional needs a strong understanding of will contests and probate law in California. The Triay Law Office meets those qualifications and can help. Our probate litigation lawyers possess over 30 years of experience providing skilled representation in contested probate matters. We work in all area of probate litigation. This includes defective trusts and wills as well as contesting wills or will codicils.
On What Grounds Can You Contest a Will Codicil?
There are several grounds on which a person might contest a will or will codicil. Two of the main reasons to contest a will codicil are:
- Lack of mental capacity – For a will (and any amendments made to it) to be valid, the testator needs to be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind. This will ensure that he or she understands the nature of the will documents he or she is signing. They also understand the nature and extent of the property owned and the relationships between them and the beneficiaries.
- Undue Influence – In some cases, fraud, forgery or undue influence caused the testator to add the will codicil against his or her own free will. They have been manipulated into it as well. A person who is elderly and mentally weak can be unduly influenced or lack a proper understanding of what they are doing.
If you are considering contesting a will codicil, please consider working with a qualified San Francisco probate litigation attorney. They can help you properly prove the undue influence or a lack of capacity which resulted in the will amendment. Unfortunately, by this time, the testator will likely no longer be alive, therefore his or her testimony cannot be used. In this case, you will benefit most from hiring an experienced attorney to gather documents such as medical records and bank records. An attorney can also call upon expert witnesses — such as doctors and psychiatrists, family members and other witnesses — to build your case.
Who Can Contest a Will Codicil?
Anyone who has something to gain financially can challenge the will or will codicil. The most successful challengers to a will or a codicil tend to be beneficiaries under an earlier will. They prove able to prove that the testator lacked mental capacity or was unduly influenced by another party — or both. A court could rule to invalidate an entire will or simply certain provisions or amendments to it.
Rely upon an Oakland and San Francisco probate litigation attorney to help you during these complicated legal procedures.
Questions About Contesting a Will Codicil? Call Us Today
The Triay Law Office excels in all matters of probate law and has advanced knowledge of will contests. We have worked on a multitude of cases that involved undue influence and lack of mental capacity. We understand the underlying issues of contesting a will codicil and strive to get to the bottom of the matter and find the most beneficial result.
Call us for a consultation at (510) 463-3165 or contact us online if you have questions or wish to get started.