Probate Litigation Resources
California Probate Litigation is constantly evolving. With ever-changing Legal Precedents, a well practiced Probate Litigator is always being re-educated and adapting to prevail-- no matter the facts.
There are several ways to contest a Will in California. Common grounds on which to bring a contest, include (1) lack of capacity, (2) undue influence, (3) fraud, (4) duress, (5) mistake, or (6) revocation. Contests can also be brought to determine what the Will means. A Court can be petitioned to interpret the Will, and to make determinations as to conditional gifts.
The Contest is can be brought before the Will is admitted to Probate or after the Will is admitted. But, the action can only be filed if authorized by statute.
The Intent of the Testator, as expressed in the Will controls the legal effect of dispositions made in the Will. When the written language is ambiguous and the Testator's documented intent is unclear, certain legal presumptions, in the form of Statutory Rules of Construction, are applied to resolve disputes and ambiguities.
Extrinsic Evidence, to the extent authorized by law, can be used to determine the Testator's true intent.
PETITIONS TO REFORM/MODIFY WILL OR TRUST:
Reformation of a Will or Trust essentially involves rewriting language of the instrument so as to reflect the true intention. Common grounds for bringing a reformation action drafting errors, fraud, and mistake of either law or fact.
Courts are not confined to determine what the language of the instrument was intended to be, and will review extrinsic evidence to determine what legal effect a Testator or Settlor intended the instrument to have.
LAWSUITS TO TERMINATE TRUST:
LAWSUITS FOR BREACH OF TRUST:
PETITIONS TO REMOVE EXECUTOR/TRUSTEE: