Under What Circumstances Can My Will Be Contested In Minnesota?

Minnetonka Divorce Lawyers Can Help You

Those of you keeping up with the drama surrounding Netflix’s Tiger King during this pandemic may have heard about the recent accusations against one of its stars for illegally writing and filing a supposed second will allegedly containing several forged signatures after her husband’s mysterious disappearance. The accused had inherited millions based upon the information given in the supposedly fraudulent will.

We have no opinion on this particular case but the issues raised by the show bring up many fears and questions that you may have about your own will. Can something like this happen to you in Minnesota? What makes a will legally binding? What can threaten the validity of the will you have created? How do you go about protecting yourself and your family from fraud, especially when you can’t be there to support them and verify your wishes?

Planning For Your Future

There are a few steps that you must take to create a will that covers all of your assets and addresses your wishes for all of your heirs. An efficient family lawyer with experience in probates and estate planning will have an excellent plan of attack on how to organize your information in a way that will make the process quicker and easier on you.

Gather documentation on all of your assets and make a list of each heir that you would like to address in your will. Also, if there is anyone you wish to discount in your will, make sure that these wishes are shared with your attorney who is building your will. You should express the reasons behind your decisions to keep someone out or put someone in your will with a lawyer who can document your wishes and decrease the chance that it will be contested by said person.

Your family attorney will do research and investigations for you if you have difficulties gathering all of your documentation or putting your wishes into words. Problems arise when information is withheld and your wants and needs may be unintentionally skewed or even lost if you change the law firm that represents you.

Your Responsibilities

Make it a goal to touch base with your lawyer annually, or as needed, to update any documentation and make any changes that you desire to make. Document your reasons behind your decisions so that you remember why you have made these decisions. Related divorces, the birth of children and grandchildren, deaths, or any reason to write someone out of your will, for example, should be addressed right away.

As you meet with your attorney, annually or on an as-needed basis, go over the decisions that you have made so far and decide if anything is missing or that you will need to add or subtract. It may seem redundant and excessive at times, but essential if you want your will to best represent your wishes and keep from being contested, which usually upsets the dynamic of a family.

Contested Wills

Your will is a legal document that can’t be contested by someone who simply believes that your wishes were unfair. It can be contested by a member of your immediate family if they believe that you were under some sort of duress during its creation or if the language of the document is unclear or misleading. The will can be contested if there are questions about its validity. There must be an established legal reason for a will to be contested.

In Minnesota, specifically, a person has one calendar year after to contest a will. If your will is contested, all beneficiaries will be contacted and made aware of the new developments. This will allow your heirs time to gather their own information to help support, or even negate, your decisions. A probate judge may be asked to help solve a contentious situation.

Contesting a will is not simple and the process takes a long time. The person contesting will have to spend their own time and money to go through the process and it may be easier to simply leave it alone and move on. A consistent and practiced probate attorney will have all the information that they need to help combat any problems that may arise after your departure as long as you document the reasons behind your decisions and communicate fully with them and with your heirs.

We Can Help! Request a Free Consultation

Allow our team at Beckman Steen & Lungstrom, P.A. to protect your interests and the future of your family. Contact us online or call us at 952-938-3411 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation concerning your case.

You have worked hard for what you have and deserve control over what you leave behind for your loved ones. You deserved individualized attention at a reasonable cost. Rest assured that we will protect your assets and follow your wishes to the letter.