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Probate and litigation in Fresno

No Fresno resident ever wants to be involved in a probate litigation matter. However, sometimes such legal matters are unavoidable. Some of the most common types of situations that require probate litigation are undue influence and mental incapacity. In this article, we will discuss these issues in a little more detail.

The term "undue influence" refers to the accusation that an individual was influenced by another individual and/or manipulated during the process of drafting his or her will. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for Fresno residents to be manipulated into writing something into their wills or completely redrafting their wills, because the person doing the manipulating stands to benefit. In a case like this, family members, or heirs, who were hurt by the undue influence will have the right to contest the will.

Closely related to undue influence is the issue of "mental incapacity." In mental incapacity probate matters, the challenge relates to the allegation that the will's owner, or testator, was not of sound mind when he or she created the will. Under California law, a will might be invalidated if it is proven that the will creator

-- Did not understand the extent and/or nature of his or her possessions

-- Did not intend the will to say what it does

-- Did not know the individuals benefiting from the will.

It should be noted, that in terms of challenging a will, the document will not necessarily be invalidated if the testator simply had any kind of mental deficiency. Indeed, the deficiency must be so severe that it would have affected the testator's capacity to make a will in accordance with his or her true wishes. As you can imagine, this might be difficult to prove in court in many cases.

At Pape & Shewan, we help Fresno residents defend wills and/or challenge wills in California court. We provide a free and no obligation first-time consultations to anyone who has any kind of questions about his or her probate litigation matters.

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