Will Contests

Georgia Probate Litigation Attorneys

The attorneys of Aitkens & Aitkens, P.C. have ample experience in resolving disputes over the terms of a will and the administration of a family member’s estate. We can assert or defend the interests of any party in a will contest — the estate, a named beneficiary, an excluded heir, or an executor accused of impropriety. Based in Atlanta, we practice in probate courts of northern Georgia and statewide. We commonly represent out-of-state clients who need representation in contested will proceedings in Georgia. Contact our firm today to discuss your situation.

Will Contests

Our knowledgeable attorneys have handled every estate litigation scenario relating to the validity of the will, the character of assets and administration of the estate:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity — The testator (deceased) was not of sound and disposing mind and memory at the time the will was executed. Was there evidence of Alzheimer’s (dementia), a drug-related impairment, mental illness or other reason to doubt that the person knew what he or she was doing or signing?
  • Undue influence or fraud — Did a child, sibling or friend of the deceased inherit the bulk of the estate or a disproportionate share because of coercion, duress, trickery, fraudulent misrepresentations or outright forgery? In a common scenario, a family member swoops in when the person’s health is failing and isolates and convinces the decedent to alter the will in his or her favor or to leave other heirs out completely.
  • Improper execution — The will is not in compliance with the state’s execution and attestation requirements. A will must be signed by competent witnesses, and if to be a self-proven will, in the presence of a notary public. A potential conflicts arises if any witness is a beneficiary. A problem also arises if the witness is under the required age, or if the “witness” did not observe the execution and actually signed the will after the fact. A will contest might also center on the status of assets such as a joint account, missing assets, questionable “gifts” prior to death, or breach of fiduciary duty by the executor/administrator.
  • Year’s support — A surviving spouse and/or minor child are entitled under Georgia law to an allowance out of the estate of a decedent which will take precedence over other distributees and most creditors. A petition for “year’s support” seeks support for a surviving spouse and/or minor children for maintenance and support for a period of twelve months from the date of death. Aitkens & Aitkens, P.C. has vast experience in protecting the vested rights for a surviving spouse and/or minor children of the deceased.