Contested Wills & Probate

mary-and-steveOur firm has had decades of experience preparing and effectuating the estate plans for thousands of clients.  As a result, we are well aware of the pitfalls of estate planning documents that either were improperly executed or otherwise have some claimed defect.  Our offices through the years appeared in Probate Courts throughout the State of Michigan both on the side of requesting a Court set aside an estate plan as well as defending a legal attack against a properly executed estate plan.  There is a myriad of legal issues involved both from the Probate law as well as the Michigan Court Rules regarding litigation that requires a particular level of expertise.  Some of the issues of concern include the following:

  • Were the estate plans at the time of signing property witnessed and executed?
  • Do the estate planning documents contain any verbiage that can be legally challenged?
  • Can a challenge be made or withstood relating to the decedent’s state of mind, physical and mental condition at the time of signing the documents?
  • Can a claim be established or defended regarding potential actions of undue influence in the signing of the documents?
  • Is there an “in terrorem” clause contained in either the Will or Trust being contested which would negate the challenging party’s interest if found to be without probable cause.