Due to the fact that so many legal issues can be raised in the case of a contested will, it is incredibly important that you have an experienced, dedicated attorney on your side. At Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A., our attorneys have the extensive experience assisting clients with will contests in Dover, Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.
Will contest laws in New Hampshire
A will contest is an adversarial procedure which the deceased will sometimes try to prevent through measures taken during the writing of their will. This can take the form in the inclusion of a "no contest" clause. If an individual attempts to contest a will with this clause in place, and the will is upheld in court, the contester will inherit nothing from the estate and will. Essentially, this forces the beneficiary to choose between inheritance as stated in a will, or to risk receiving nothing at all.
The person writing a will may also engage in legal contracts with their beneficiaries prior to death that consist of a binding promise to not contest the will. If the deceased gave "consideration" (something of value) in return for a negotiated contract, these promises may be upheld in court and enforceable.
A no contest clause often raises many complicated legal issues, especially if it arose out of disputes or the deceased was not mentally capable of decision making at the time the will was written. If you're considering challenging a will with this clause, it is essential to speak with a Dover will contest lawyer to properly understand and protect your legal rights.
Why would a will be contested?
Regardless of whether a will contains a no contest clause or not, the act of contesting a will is only effective in changing the terms of who inherits if there was a problem with the will to begin with. An invalid will is an incredibly common reason for contesting, but there are other reasons as well:
- The will does not comply with New Hampshire laws
- The deceased was not legally competent at the time of its writing
- The will was the result of undue influence
- The authenticity of the will is disputed
In order to successfully contest a will, you need legal help to prove that one of these criteria applies.
We know the law. We can help
At Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A., we have a history of helping clients to contest wills so that they can better enforce the wishes of the deceased. We have also helped those defending against will contests, providing strong and compelling representation for why a will should stand as originally written. No matter who you are or what your position is, we are here for you and ready to stand firm for your cause.
Contact us to learn more about the legal services we can provide for you. Our Portsmouth will contest lawyer, Matthew Cox, can provide the voice you need when you are involved in will contests. We represent individuals involved in all types of will contests throughout New Hampshire.