I received my first will contests today as an attorney. Unfortunately, one of the beneficiaries challenged the will one (1) day prior to the six month date. With a will contests, a beneficiary has six (6) months from the date of entry of the will into probate to issue a will challenge. In the will contests, the upset beneficiary is claiming undue influence and coercion. Basically, this means that my client persuaded her father to sign the will and give everything to her.
One of the reasons you should not do your own will is lack of experience. In this case, my client drafted her own will and had her father sign the will. Second, the father signed the will in the hospital, with possible medication. Third, it is a will, which is public information. A rule of thumb, a revocable living trust is the simpliest way to avoid a will contest. This case likely would not have a will contests if a revocable living trust was involved. A revocable living trust does not require notifying a disgruntled beneficiary about the existence of a will. A revocable living trust or otherwise called a "living trust" is a private document.
Sean Robertson is an estates and trusts attorney that concentrates in wills, trusts, estate planning, asset protection, and probate. Sean Robertson may be reached at 312-498-6080 or 630-364-2318.