Will Contests & Probate Litigation
If you find yourself in a dispute for your rightful inheritance, attorney Patterson Weaver can help. He has experience handling highly complex will contests on large estates, and can provide free consultations to determine possible courses of action and if he can help with your situation. Based in Colorado Springs, inheritance-lawyer Patterson Weaver proudly serves the state of Colorado in these types of cases, and may be of help even if your case is far from El Paso County, Pueblo County, Teller County, and the nearby area.
Unfortunately, the passing of a loved one can lead to disputes over the disposition of the deceased’s estate and the inheritance due to various family members. Relationships can be pushed to the breaking point, sometimes leading to severe fights among siblings and other family members over their respective inheritances. If the deceased left a proper will, such disputes may be easily resolved. However, often even wills don’t resolve such disputes, particularly when the deceased tried to write a will without the help of an attorney. When there is a disagreement over the validity of a will or the existence of multiple wills, attorneys call such a situation a “will contest” and it is a specific and specialized form of probate litigation.Why do “Will Contests” Occur?
While many people understand the importance of having a will in place to express their wishes regarding their estate, they often do not realize the problems that can arise by attempting to express their wishes in writing without the help of an attorney. In some cases, even if the deceased had the help of an attorney, a family member or someone close to the deceased may have unduly influenced an individual so that the instructions in the will were not representative of the deceased’s actual intentions. While every will contest is different, such probate litigation can occur for any of the following reasons:
- Dispute regarding a holographic (hand-written) will;
- Dispute in interpretation of a will;
- Multiple competing potential wills;
- Concern regarding undue influence of an individual with a deceased, resulting in a will that perhaps did not reflect the wishes of the deceased;
- Lack of capacity to execute a will; and
- Lack of testamentary intent (a document was not intended to be a will).
Will contests are unique and specialized types of civil litigation, involving a complicated interplay between the Colorado Probate Code and the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. Such cases are often a hybrid between a civil litigation case (such as a personal injury case or the like) and a formal probate case. Probate litigation of this type often involves disclosures, subpoenas, depositions, negotiations, mediations, and sometimes a trial. Such cases should not be undertaken without the help of an inheritance lawyer experienced in handling such cases.What will be the cost of hiring an attorney to help me fight for my inheritance?
Every case is different, and Patterson Weaver Law, or any inheritance attorney, cannot give you an exact quote on the fees for your particular situation without first speaking with you regarding the case. However, Patterson Weaver Law provides the initial consultation at no cost, and then offers actual representation on the basis of either an hourly rate or a contingent fee. Which of these two approaches is possible and best for your situation depends on the type of case, complexity of the situation, novelty of the legal issues involved, the amount of work likely involved, and the size of the estate at issue. For cases appropriate for a contingent fee, Patterson Weaver Law does not collect any fee unless we can help you successfully collect money or assets in the case.When should I contact an attorney regarding my inheritance?
Time is of the essence in probate litigation and will contest cases. You should consult with a qualified attorney immediately upon realizing there is a dispute over your inheritance. If you wait too long, it may be impossible for an attorney to help you collect what was intended for you. There are a number of deadlines that apply to these types of cases—don’t take the chance of missing them. Call Patterson Weaver Law today for a free consultation. Life happens. Let us help.