New Orleans Contested Wills Attorney

Lawyer for Will Contests in Orleans Parish

Wills are not always the most airtight documents we would like them to be. Even if the testator made no mistakes, followed the appropriate procedure for execution, and took a careful approach to estate planning, there is always a risk that the will will be contested. In estate planning, we have what is called the "worst evidence rule," meaning that the only person who could truly clear things up is deceased and cannot testify. Of course, there are also situations in which a will challenge should rightfully be brought, where someone has attempted to put forth an illegitimate will, generally to their own benefit.

Brown Weimer, LLC, is experienced in the field of will contests. Our team of attorneys acts aggressively on behalf of our clients, striving to ensure that only the decedent's genuine wishes can be followed. We understand the deleterious impact a fraudulent will - or a wrongful will contest - can have on the true beneficiaries and their families. If you are facing a will contest or estate litigation, you can relax knowing that our lawyers are doing everything possible to reach a favorable result for you.

Common Causes of Will Contests in Louisiana

Will challenges are brought for a number of reasons, some rightful, some not. For a will contest to succeed, the challenger must prove that there is a defect in the will. Some of the most commonly cited reasons for will contests in Louisiana include:

  • Lack of capacity - The testator must have the mental capacity to generally understand what their will is for and what it will accomplish. It does sometimes happen that a typically elderly individual who is mentally incapacitated is asked to sign a will that they did not create and would not understand. When we create wills, we take precautions to ensure that testamentary capacity can be proven. If your loved one was under a guardianship or commitment, their capacity may be called into question.
  • Execution defect - There are a few rather strict legal rules regarding how a will is created and signed in Louisiana. If the testator failed to meet a requirement, the will can be invalidated. While the results seem harsh, these rules are in place to prevent fraud.
  • Undue influence - This type of challenge means that another person pressured or otherwise unfairly caused the testator to include will provisions they would not normally have included, such as changing their beneficiaries. If your loved one surprisingly left their entire estate to their home healthcare aid, for example, this type of contest may be rightfully brought.
  • Fraud - While it is relatively rare, we have seen cases where a will submitted to the probate court was outright fraudulent, meaning that the decedent did not make or intend the will.

Who Can Bring a Will Contest

Not just anyone can challenge a person's will. Allowing such contests to be brought by entirely unrelated individuals could easily create chaos and slowdowns in the courts. Rather, an individual may contest a will only if they have an interest in the estate. A person has an interest in the will if they would be entitled to inherit property, either by the terms of the will or by Louisiana's laws of intestacy. We can help you determine whether you have standing to bring a will contest.

Contact an Orleans Parish Will Contest Attorney

If you have an interest in a will that has already been challenged or that seems suspicious to you, we can offer you aggressive representation. At our law office, you will always deal directly with our attorneys, never a non-attorney staff member. We will always keep you up-to-date on your case and explain these complex legal issues in plain English so that you will have a complete understanding of your case. Contact us at 504-561-8700 for a free consultation. We provide representation for clients located in and around metropolitan New Orleans, including Covington, Mandeville, Kenner, Thibodaux, Houma, Harvey, Slidell, Gretna, Metairie, Jefferson Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. John the Baptist Parish, Lafourche Parish, and Terrebonne Parish.

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