Will Contest and Estate Litigation
The Higgins Firm has a unique combination of experienced high stake civil litigation teams and attorneys that focus on estate law. By working together these teams can provide aggressive and knowledgeable representation in Will or Trust dispute cases and other estate litigation matters. Our lawyers include members of The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are able to handle most Will Contest or Probate Disputes on a contingency basis so there is no fee unless we recover money for our clients.DISPUTING A WILL OR TRUST IN TENNESSEE
A Last Will and Testament is more than a legal document. It is a person’s last opportunity to help their friends and loved ones. It is more than just a legal writing of a loved one’s final wishes. As such, when a relative has been coerced or tricked into changing their Last Will and Testament it is a painful experience for the rightful heirs. However, proving that a Last Will is invalid can be a difficult process. The Law in Tennessee assumes that a person is of sound mind and can make their own choices. As such, to be successful in a Will contest the trial evidence should be sufficient to overcome this presumption. Some of the factors a Court will consider when determining the validity of a Will or Trust include:
- Whether the decedent obtained legal advice from an independent source prior to making the change, transfer of property or designation;
- Was the change in the will/trust, change in the designation of beneficiary or the transfer of assets made close in time to the death of the testator or decedent;
- Whether impartial individuals witnessed testator or decedent make the changes;
- Whether there was a degree of dependency between the decedent and the beneficiary and if so, how dependent was the decedent upon the person that benefited from the change;
- The decedent’s age at the time of the change;
- Was the transfer or change the result of the influence of a person upon whom the decedent depended; and
- Whether the decedent was incompetent as a result of a physical or mental condition or medication.
These factors can be proven through medical experts, family doctors and friends or relatives of the decedent.WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT A TENNESSEE WILL CONTEST LAWYER?
If you believe that you have you have been denied your legal inheritance then you should contact an experienced estate attorney as soon as possible. Tennessee has certain time limitations as to when you can challenge the validity of a Last Will and Testament or Trust and if you miss those deadlines you may forever lose your right to file a claim. Also, evidence in these cases can vanish quickly so it is important to preserve all relevant evidence before it is too late. As such, if you would like to discuss your options please contact one of our Estate Litigation Attorneys today for a consultation.