Contesting a Will

Breaking A Will & Bifurcated Trials

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 in challenging a last will and testament, Contesting a Will

Will Caveats (Will Contests) or colloquilly known as “breaking a will” involve at least two phases in the devisat vel non trial. Devisat vel non is the archaic speak for the questions put to the jury concerning the validity of a will. So at the trial, something interesting happens: the defender of the will, the Propounder, has the burden of proof to show the will that is being questioned was executed properly, then the attacker of the will probated, the Caveator, has the burden to show why the will should be over turned, typically by either lack of capacity of testator or undue...

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NC Change of Beneficiary Form Challenges & Mental Capacity

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 in challenging a last will and testament, Contesting a Will

NC Change of Beneficiary Form Challenges & Mental Capacity Last Wills & Testaments only transfer undesignated assets such as real property, accounts without death beneficiaries, personal property, stocks, business interests. But what if the decedent allegedly signed a Transfer on Death (a/k/a Paid on Death Beneficiary, life insurance policy, annuity contracts, Totten Trust, Joint Account with Right of Survivorship) or a deed before they died? Similar rules apply to challenging the document as there are with Will Contests (aka Will Caveats). Was this an invalid gift? Did the decedent...

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Process to Contest a Will

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 in challenging a last will and testament, Contesting a Will

In North Carolina, to contest a will there is the following general process: 1) Caveat filing. This is the complaint to be filed by the attorneys for the caveators or challengers of the will. It’s filed in Superior Court in the county where the will was probated. This has to be filed within 3 years of the time of death/probate of will. 2) Bond paid to the clerk for the Caveat. Not a large bond. 3) Order to suspend estate except for maintenance. The Caveator’s attorney files this to be signed by the Clerk in the Estates division. Keeps the assets of the estate from being distributed prior to...

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Producing a Will in NC

Posted on Aug 31, 2015 in Contesting a Will, NC Estate Litigation Attorney

Yes this does happen. You know the decedent did a will. Maybe they even showed you. But now that they died, Cousin/Sibling X went through the house and now the Will is gone. Perhaps Cousin X didn’t get exactly what they wanted in Decedent’s will. Maybe Cousin X has ulterior motives, eg. clean out the possessions beforehand or try to inherit intestate or they were disinherited. You can guess their motives. Nonetheless, not you can’t find the testator’s Last Will & Testament. In this situation, the Courts in North Carolina permit someone to file an application or an affidavit....

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