Estate Litigation

Westfield Estate Litigation Attorney

Representing New Jersey clients facing estate litigation matters

Before people pass, they usually take the necessary steps to ensure that their wishes are followed and their estate functions the way they hoped. This is supposed to ease their stress of not knowing what will happen once they are gone. It also helps avoid stress among the family left behind so that they may focus on healing. Unfortunately, wills, trusts, and other testamentary instruments may be contested for their validity for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons an estate planning document may be contested include:

  • Lack of capacity
  • Undue influence
  • Forgery
  • Alterations
  • A more recent will is found

If you should have been the beneficiary of an estate and question the validity of a testamentary document, contact Joseph Gachko, Esq. If you are a beneficiary and someone is questioning the validity of a will or trust, contact our firm today. Attorney Gachko has represented the interests of many clients across New Jersey faced with litigation caused by a contested testamentary instrument. If you need legal advice or effective advocacy, contact Joseph Gachko, Attorney at Law for an initial consultation.

Why would a will or trust be contested?

As stated above, there are many reasons a testamentary instrument can be contested. When beneficiaries believe a third party has unlawfully motivated the testator to favor one person over another, this could be considered undue influence. Proving undue influence can be quite difficult. A will can be contested if another, more recent will is found to exist. If a testamentary document is executed by a person who is believed to lack capacity, it can lead to contested cases. If there is evidence of alterations or forgery, the beneficiaries and those who believe they should have benefited from the will or trust can find themselves litigating the matter. Through a thorough investigation of communications between parties, medical and financial records, and a variety of other evidence, an effective attorney can question or support the validity of testamentary documents.

When should I contest a will?

You have options. You can contest a will before or after it is offered for probate. You should file a caveat with the Surrogate’s court in the county of residence of the decedent if you decide to contest a will prior to probate. This will question the validity of the document. The caveat needs to be addressed before being allowed to continue through the administration process. If you are contesting a will after probate, you may file a complaint with the Chancery Division of the Superior Court. Both sides will have the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses to support their position and the court will decide on the matter.

Contact an experienced Union County estate litigation attorney

Joseph Gachko, Esq. is honored to be of service to the people of New Jersey. Offering clients an established and experienced estate litigation practice, Joseph Gachko works to help clients protect assets that should be passed to them through wills and trusts. If you believe that your loved one’s testamentary document is not valid, it is important to contact an attorney to discuss your case and potentially represent you in court. If someone is contesting a testamentary instrument without due cause, you should protect yourself as the beneficiary. If you need quality legal services, contact Joseph Gachko, Attorney at Law.