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kstarfire212

Contesting a will?

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What kind of proof is required to contest a will?  

 

My dad got married 4 months ago, and changed his will 2 months ago to disinherit his 5 kids and 13 grandkids. He gave everything to the new wife.   He had a heart attack 5 days after changing the will and was randomly shot  in the head and killed last week on his way home.  He told the rest of my siblings to keep it a secret from me so I was not aware of this will change until now.   They were suprisingly not upset about it but the majority of them are quite wealthy.  I was getting the bulk of the $2m estate before this change....

 

He has acted very irratically for the past year.  He was apparently head over heels in love with this lady. They saw a therapist to make sure the relationship was going to work out.     He went to AA meetings with her to help her recover from being an alcoholic.  They split up a few times before getting married.  Apparently, he couldnt bare to be without her so he really wanted to marry her.  He ended up paying off her $150k mortgage just before they got married.    This from a guy who complained about his electric bill or just paying for dinner...

 

Then they went on a trip to hawaii where he bought a timeshare.    They also booked a cruise for later this year.  He was spending money rather wildly it seems.    He was alone for the 6 years prior to this relationship. 

 

This woman seems like the opposite of my mom(who is deceased)  so I dont quite understand how it worked out so well.  I have never met her, they were supposed to come for a family reunion this week... 

 

He was 76 and the new woman is 70. 

 

She says she didnt want the will to be changed.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, kstarfire212 said:

What kind of proof is required to contest a will?  

Proof that the signatures on the will are not the signatures of the persons who are alleged to have signed it; proof that the testator was incompetent at the time he or she signed it, including that he or she did not know the identity of his or her probable heirs and/or that he or she was not aware of the extent and nature of his or her estate;   proof that the testator's willingness to sign the will was overcome because he or she was under duress; proof there was a later will that revoked the purported will.

 

 

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3 hours ago, kstarfire212 said:

What kind of proof is required to contest a will?

 

Depends on the basis on which the will contest is based, but your post gives no indication of any basis for contesting your father's will.

 

 

3 hours ago, kstarfire212 said:

He was apparently head over heels in love with this lady.

 

Which makes it not at all illogical that he would want to leave her his entire estate.

 

 

3 hours ago, kstarfire212 said:

This woman seems like the opposite of my mom(who is deceased)  so I dont quite understand how it worked out so well.

 

Love is a strange thing.

 

 

3 hours ago, kstarfire212 said:

She says she didnt want the will to be changed.

 

You're free to talk to her about disclaiming her interest in the estate so that you can receive a share of it.

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I suppose I would contest it based on his current mental wellness and state of health.  He seemed to be doing very irratic things, and he 

 had a heart attack a few days after signing the new will so his health was questionable. 

 

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2 hours ago, kstarfire212 said:

I suppose I would contest it based on his current mental wellness and state of health.  He seemed to be doing very irratic things, and he 

 had a heart attack a few days after signing the new will so his health was questionable.

 

You certainly can contest it on that basis.  However, the fact that he had a heart attack five days after changing the will is completely irrelevant.  People who are otherwise in great physical health can have heart attacks, and even if his physical health wasn't great, that doesn't mean he lacked the capacity to make a will.  In fact, a person can be in terrible physical health and still make a valid will (indeed, it is not uncommon for folks to make wills on their death beds).

 

As far as him having done erratic things, the bar for mental capacity to make a will is extremely low.  Under Washington law, a person has what's called testamentary capacity when he/she “has sufficient mind and memory to understand the transaction in which he [or she] is then engaged, to comprehend generally the nature and extent of the property which constitutes his [or her] estate and of which he  [or she] is contemplating disposition to recollect the objects of his [or her] bounty.”  In re Bottger’s Estate, 14 Wn.2d 676, 685, 129 P.2d 518 (1942).  The existence of capacity is assumed, which means you will have the burden of disproving one of the following:  (1) that he understood that he was making a will and, in general, what the object of a will is; (2) that he had a general understanding of his assets; and (3) that he understood who his relatives were.  Without having any details about the erratic things you claim your father did, it is extremely unlikely, in the abstract, that you could successfully disprove any of these things.  Indeed, your own post suggests that he knew exactly what he was doing by leaving his entire estate to a woman with whom he was head over heels in love.

 

If you want to pursue this, I suggest you consult with a local probate attorney ASAP.  The deadline for challenging a will is generally very short.

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