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Last-minute changes to a will: You can fight them

Probate litigation refers to challenging all or part of a person's last will and testament, the appointment of an estate's personal representative or other parts of a person's estate plan.

Probate litigation is unfortunately necessary in some cases, particularly when greed or jealousy is involved. People who feel shunned by the will left behind may begin a case to fight for assets they may or may not be entitled to. Sometimes, litigation is necessary for positive reasons, too. For example, if your loved one changed their will shortly before their death, you may wish to litigate to fight the changes. You could have the will reverted to the previous version if changes were made due to undue influence.

Litigation can seem frightening or overwhelming, but it's relatively simple if you have the facts straight. For example, if you can show that a will was changed only days before a loved one's death and can also prove that they had a disease that affected their judgment, your attorney may be able to convince the court that the will was altered during a moment of confusion or due to undue influence from an outside party.

Realize that litigation can sometimes create a chasm in a family. It can literally mean fighting brother against brother, sisters against aunts or uncles or a mixture of family members fighting one another. If you plan to litigate, it's a good idea to get your evidence in order quickly and to make sure you have a solid case for the changes you want to see the court make happen.

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