Win Estate Disputes By Replacing Invalid Wills With Earlier Ones And Subpoenaing Important Discovery Documents

The familiar adage “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” certainly applies in probate law—heirs and beneficiaries should only count on inheriting from the testator’s last valid estate plan. “But what happens when the testamentary document presented in probate is invalid?” This legal question stands at the heart of nearly every will dispute litigated in Iowa since the courts started …

How to Prove Forgery in Probate Fraud Litigation

You can contest a counterfeit estate planning document in probate if you have a good-faith belief that someone forged it or committed probate fraud when soliciting its execution. Challengers must hold standing and grounds to move their forgery arguments forward in court. Probate fraud investigators and handwriting experts may gather the requisite forgery evidence required for presentation at trial Will …

12 Important Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Entering Will Dispute Litigation

Estate dispute litigation is a delicate issue that unquestionably affects friends and relatives—and because of this, many folks refrain from challenging a will or trust in probate after a loved one passes away. Yet, when testamentary documents disinherit you or reduce your expected inheritance to practically nothing, bringing will contest action may be the only option you have to recover …

The Ultimate Guide On How To Persuade Iowa Jurors To Find Undue Influence

Iowa Probate Litigation has blogged extensively about undue influence and how the Iowa courts can set aside a will or trust when it finds another person forced the testator into disinheriting an heir or beneficiary. But understanding how undue influence works is only beneficial if you can apply the theory to prove its existence in court and persuade the fact …

What Everyone Should Know About Insane Delusions in Testamentary Capacity

The law obligates estate planning attorneys to make a reasonable attempt to affirm testamentary capacity among older or ill clients before drafting their wills and again before execution. In Iowa, testators need only show mental competence during estate planning activities, meaning even if testators have a history of mental illness, they may draft, alter or revoke their will or trust …

Listen to the Experts: Iowa Probate Attorneys Answer Your Questions About Estate Planning Premarital Agreements

Premarital agreements affect how estate plans operate when one spouse passes away. For this reason, it’s essential for married couples in Iowa to consider the potential impact that an estate prenup will place on their loved one’s inheritance and how the agreement’s terms will protect each party’s interest. The estate dispute attorneys at Iowa Probate Litigation have been counseling married …

Why Legal Malpractice Claims Arise From Will Drafting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Some attorneys have shortcomings when it comes to preparing testamentary documents. Making mistakes when drafting wills—either because of poor communication, imperfect discovery or unfamiliarity of estate law—is the single most common legal malpractice claim that challengers bring during probate litigation in Iowa. In many cases, lawyers can avoid making drafting errors during estate planning. Lack of Communication Most estate malpractice …

Defending Iowa Will Challenge Lawsuits in 2020

Interested parties bring will challenge lawsuits when they believe a wrongdoer took advantage of a loved one’s intent before death or when they think the testamentary document in probate is a forgery that does not represent the testator’s final wishes. Disgruntled family members can also object when they find the decedent’s will excludes them from taking a fair share of …

How You Would Assess Testamentary Capacity If You Were a Lawyer

Let’s imagine that…. You’ve just earned your law degree, and Iowa’s go-to probate attorneys at the Smith Law Firm have hired you as their new intern. The Firm’s founding partner, Tyler Smith, calls you in his office on your first day and asks you to complete a testamentary capacity assessment on an elderly client who wants to modify her testamentary …