The Flanigan Law Group, A Professional Corporation
Call Our Irvine Office Today
Click Here To Call Now
Local: 949-450-0041
Toll Free: 800-732-2413
view Our Practice Areas

Challenging wills in California

Will contests in California are difficult. It is rare for challenges to wills to be successful because the probate courts view the documents as representing the voice and wishes of the testator. There are some valid grounds on which will contests may be based and that may result in a will's being declared invalid, however.

Any person who has an interest to gain by challenging a will is allowed to contest it. In general, spouses who challenge wills are the likeliest parties to prevail. The grounds that are most likely to be successful are that the testator lacked the mental capacity at the time he or she wrote the will or that the testator was coerced or unduly influenced by another who stood to gain.

People must be at least 18 to have the testamentary capacity to write valid wills. There are exceptions in some cases for people who are serving in the military before they are 18 or who are married. For adults, the presumption is that they have the testamentary capacity. It can be challenged on the basis of insanity, dementia, senility, being under the influence or some other factor that diminished the person's capacity. To prove undue influence, family members must show that another person manipulated the testator into writing the will.

If the court finds that a will is invalid, the document will be disregarded. The assets will then be divided according to the state's laws regarding intestacy. People who believe that their loved ones' wills are invalid might want to consult with experienced probate lawyers who can advise their clients about whether or not they appear to have valid grounds to challenge the wills and help them to gather evidence if they do.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Learn How We Can
Help You

Send Us An Email

How May We Help?Send Us An Email

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

15615 Alton Parkway
Suite 450
Irvine, CA 92618

Toll Free: 800-732-2413
Fax: 949-271-6346
Map & Directions

Review Us