Contested will case takes unexpected twist

Published 26 Sep 2014

The importance of people choosing trusted lawyers for their contested will case has been highlighted by a recent case out of Atlanta, Georgia.

Before the death of their uncle, three siblings were told that they would receive 1,500 shares in a real estate investment company founded by the siblings’ great-grandfather.

Their uncle had no children of his own so left this entire section of the will to his two nieces and nephew. This agreement was part of a will created and signed by the uncle in 2001.

However, when their uncle died in 2012, the siblings found that a new will had been created in 2005 that left them out of the deal. According to Court documents, the siblings claimed that their uncle was diagnosed with dementia in 2001 and that the second will was invalid.

The new will included a woman who had been hired by their uncle to perform administrative tasks and would now inherit more than $1 million under the estate including the sibling’s share of the company. They claim that the woman preyed on their uncle’s failing mental health for her own benefit and persuaded him to create an amended will.

The siblings were told there were two legal routes that they could take. The first one included a claim there was a contract to give them the shares and the second was to challenge the will itself and take on the woman who is receiving the bulk of the estate.

This is where the story takes an interesting twist.

The lawyers representing the siblings decided to file the contract claim in 2012 and then a year later took the probate will claim to Court. The judge denied the contested will claim in August 2013.

Lawyers recommended that the siblings pause their contract case and instead appeal to the probate Court ruling as that avenue had a better chance of success. However, the lawyers failed to file the case to the Court in time and the siblings subsequently lost their chance to challenge the will again.

One of the firm partner’s is quoted as saying they ‘counted the days wrong’.

NSW contested will cases

When you want to challenge a will, it is important to consider what legal firm you want to use.

At Gerald Malouf Partners, we have years of experience and knowledge in this field and commit to serving your case with dedication and respect.

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