When the terms of a will are in dispute due to questions of competency, undue influence, or a relative's right to serve as an estate's executor, a will may be contested. At Hartung Schroeder, we represent clients who are involved in estate disputes such as probate litigation and contested wills. Regardless whether someone is challenging the terms of a will or you believe a will needs to be contested, we have the resources and experience needed to represent you.
When elderly people fall victim to manipulative health care providers, neighbors, or relatives, they may be convinced to change the terms of their will. Typically, changes are made without other family members being notified and through a different attorney than the one originally used. In order to establish undue influence and the state of mind of the person at the time of a change to his or her will, medical records, eyewitness testimony, and information on the person involved are essential.
In cases involving questions of competence and undue influence, our team works with investigators, who conduct background checks on those who are involved in changing the will of your loved one. We also ask medical professionals and psychologists to evaluate the medical condition of the deceased to determine if they had the mental capacity needed to understand what they were being asked to do. Our lawyers consult experienced psychologists and interview witnesses to determine if changes to a will were the result of manipulation and a lack in mental capacity.
In most cases, it is easier to recover real property than it is liquid assets. If funds from a bank account have disappeared, our office will use forensic accountants to sue the person involved and recover as much money as possible.
There are also cases when creditors or unscrupulous family members attempt to take advantage of vague or imprecise language in a will. In these situations, allegations may be leveled against the named executor regarding how assets are divided up or parceled out among heirs. When disputes involve creditors and debt, our office works with forensic accountants in order to determine the actual value of an estate and any debt held against it.