Will Contest Attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Any legal problem you face is bound to be stressful. When it involves your family, your finances, or your future, it becomes even more personal. Will contests often involve all three.
Our firm understands the importance of family. And we channel that into our estate planning and disputes practice.
At Boettcher & Drummond, we're committed to guiding clients through the complex and often-emotional processes of contesting a will (and responding to a will contest brought by someone else). We understand the tense dynamic involved and are here to support you every step of the way.
Contact our firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, today if you're ready to speak with an attorney about your will dispute. We offer free consultations and straightforward, personalized advice.
Understanding Will Contests
Contesting a will in Oklahoma involves understanding specific legal grounds that can declare a will invalid. These include:
Lack of testamentary capacity: The testator must be of sound mind at the time of drafting the will. This means understanding the extent of their assets, the natural beneficiaries, the decisions they are making, and how these elements interrelate.
Undue influence: A will may be considered invalid if it can be shown that the testator was coerced or manipulated by someone into creating the will or including terms that benefit the influencer, contrary to the testator's original intent.
Fraud: If the will was created or altered as a result of fraudulent statements or actions, this could be a valid ground to contest it. This includes instances where the testator signs under false pretenses or deception concerning the contents or implications of the document.
Improper execution: Oklahoma law mandates specific formalities for a will's execution; failure to comply with these statutory requirements may render it void. This includes having the proper number of witnesses and ensuring that all necessary signatures are present.
Existence of a more recent will: If there is another will that was executed at a later date, the newer will could nullify the older version, assuming the new will successfully reflects the testator's final wishes.
In conclusion, will contests in Oklahoma require a thorough examination of these factors, among others, to determine the validity of the will in question.
If you suspect any of these issues have affected the integrity of a loved one’s will, it is crucial to seek experienced legal counsel.
We're here to help you gather necessary evidence and build a strong case.
Are You Eligible to Contest a Will?
Having standing to contest a will is also crucial. In Oklahoma law, an "interested person" has the standing.
An "interested person" in the context of Oklahoma law refers to someone who has a direct, tangible, and financial interest in the decedent's estate. Essentially, potential beneficiaries, such as heirs or devisees named in previous versions of wills, or those who would inherit under Oklahoma's intestacy laws if there were no valid will, could have this standing. This includes immediate family members, but might also extend to creditors or others who have a lawful claim against the estate.
It is not enough to be merely related to the deceased or have a non-financial personal claim; the interest must materially affect the individual's rights or interests.
To contest a will, the interested party must file a contest within a specific time frame, usually starting from the date the will is admitted to probate. The importance of timing cannot be overstressed. Delays can bar the contest altogether.
If you fall into this category and believe that the will of a deceased person does not represent their true intent due to one of the aforementioned valid grounds, you should consult with an attorney proficient in will disputes to understand your rights and the legal avenues available to you.
During your free consultation, we can help determine if you have standing to contest a will.
Is It Worth It to Challenge a Will?
Contesting a will can be emotionally and financially draining, so it's important to weigh the potential benefits against the costs.
In some cases, contesting a will may not be worth the time and effort; however, in others, it may be essential to protect your rights and the best interest of your loved ones. Imagine you were left a life-changing amount in a will, but another family member came forward with evidence that the testator was not of sound mind or was unduly influenced at the time of drafting. In this scenario, contesting the will could mean a significant difference in your financial and emotional future.
Our team of experienced attorneys at Boettcher & Drummond can help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and provide honest advice on whether it is worth pursuing a will contest.
We're all about keeping family units strong, so we'll do everything we can to help you resolve your will dispute without worsening existing family tensions.
We understand that every case is unique, and we'll work with you to find the best approach for your specific situation.
Will Contests Attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma
If you're considering contesting a will in Oklahoma, we're here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you. We're located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and serve clients throughout Pawhuska, Claremore, Okmulgee, and Osage County. Let's discuss how we can help you secure the best possible outcome for your will dispute. Your family's future may depend on it. Don't hesitate to reach out to us.