Some people I talk to tell me they want to contest the way a Louisiana Succession is being handled. I always say, "Why?" Sometimes they say, "Because I don't like the way it is being handled." To that, I say, "That might not be good enough."
I've stopped accepting new Contested Succession clients. But I've seen successions cause many disputes. Successions can be contested for any number of reasons. Here's a few:
- A person did not have the capacity to understand what he was doing when he signed his Will (sometimes tough to prove).
- A person was improperly infuenced by another to sign a Will (also sometimes tough to prove).
- Someone disagrees with the executor's Detailed Descriptive List of assets.
- There is ambiguity in the interpretation of a Will (sometimes a judge has to ultimately decided the intention of the testator).
- There is disagreement about the community or separate status of assets.
- Upon a surviving spouse's death, heirs of the first spouse demand a usufructuary accounting - most people don't understand what this is.
- There is a dispute about personal effects - either their existence or their distribution.
- An hier accuses an executor of mismanaging estate assets or improperly acting in his role as executor.
- Someone wants the Will revoked because it did not meet the validity requirements of either a Louisiana notarial Will or a Louisiana olographic Will.
Feel free to comment if you are aware of more grounds to contest a succession. I've had a number of requests to "file suit" in a succession that I have not been able to accomodate. Here's just a few of my favorites:
- "I want to sue the estate because the deceased told me he wanted me to have his house."
- "I want to sue the estate because the deceased told me he wanted me to have his house - and there are witnesses who saw him say it that will testify."
- "I want more of my dad's estate because I was the only child in town and I took care of him for the last five years."
- "I want to sue my step mom because my dad left his estate to her."
- "I want to sue my long lost brother - even though he is in the Will - because he did not communicate with my dad in the last ten years."
- "I want to use this document that my mom typed on the computer even though it is not notarized."
- "I want to sue somebody because it is not fair."
If you know more not so legitimate reasons to question a Louisiana succession (or any state's probate), feel free to comment. Until next time..