Common Fact Patterns in Will and Trust Cases

Our Probate Litigation Lawyer Discusses Oral Statements Vs. Written Documentation

A common problem for people engaged in probate litigation may be that they were told one thing by their relatives about a potential inheritance, only to discover the will or trust said something entirely different later. It should be noted that testamentary wills and trusts must be in writing to be valid in California, but oral testimony can be used as evidence in a probate case. For more information about will and trust cases, contact our Oakland probate litigation attorneys today.

Video Transcription

Hi. My name is Charles Triay. I want to talk for a minute about the most common fact patterns in the will contests and trust contest that we handle. First, a little bit of background. In order for an estate plan to be valid in California, it has to be in writing. The court doesn’t want to hear, “Mom told me that I get it all,” and your brother says, “Mom told me that I get it all.” That doesn’t do much for us. That may help if there is a written document. We have oral statements by mom to back it up but by itself without a written document, an oral statement doesn’t carry much weight with the court. We’re almost always dealing with a written document and contesting whether that’s a valid document or not.

I’m Charles Triay. If you think you have a potential inheritance case, please call me (510) 463-3165.