Contesting a Will in Georgia

Contesting a Will in Georgia

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Contesting a will is a tough legal process. 

You’ll learn about: 

  • who can contest it
  • grounds for contesting one
  • how to contest one
  • the potential outcomes
  • the time limits

Who Can Contest A Will?

Only “interested parties” can contest a will, which includes: 

  • Beneficiaries named in the will
  • Heirs-at-law (those who would inherit if there was no will)
  • Creditors of the estate

Grounds For Contesting A Will

The most common grounds for contesting a will are: 

  • Lack of Testamentary Capacity: Prove the testator lacked mental capacity to understand their actions. Evidence: medical records, witness statements, expert opinions.
  • Undue Influence: Show the testator was coerced into favoring someone unfairly. Evidence: witness testimonies, unusual financial records, manipulative communications.
  • Fraud or Forgery: Demonstrate the will or signatures are fake or that the testator was deceived. Evidence: handwriting analysis, witness testimonies, proof of deception.
  • Improper Execution: Prove the will wasn’t executed correctly per Georgia law. Evidence: verify compliance with legal standards, including signatures and witnesses.

Fill out the form to talk to a probate lawyer about contesting a will. 

How To Contest A Will In Georgia

  1. File a Petition: Submit a petition stating your reasons for contesting the will and the legal grounds.
  2. Gather Evidence: Collect all necessary evidence to support your claim.
  3. Serve Notice: Notify interested parties of the will contestation. 
  4. Attend Hearings: Attend scheduled court hearings to present your evidence and arguments. 
  5. Mediation and Settlement: Consider mediation to settle with other parties.
  6. Court Decision: If mediation fails, the court will make a decision based on the evidence presented.

How Long You Have To Contest It

For Common Form Probate, you have 4 years to contest the will. 

For common form, heirs are not notified of probate. 

This is why you get 4 years to contest the will with common form probate. 

For Solemn Form Probate, you have 30 days to contest a will. 

For solemn form, heirs are notified of probate. 

This is why you get 30 days to contest the will with solemn form probate.

Potential Outcomes You’ll See

The most common outcomes we see with will contesting are: 

  • Will Is Upheld: The court can dismiss the contest and enforce it as it’s written. 
  • Will Invalidated: If the will is invalid, the estate gets distributed per the Georgia intestate laws
  • Partial Invalidity: The court may invalidate specific parts of the will while upholding the rest. 
  • Old Will Is Recognized: A previous valid will may be enforced if the contested will is invalidated.
  • Settlement: Parties may agree to modify the estate distribution before the court’s decision.

Get Help From A Lawyer Lawyer

Estate litigations are the toughest period to navigate. 

You’ve lost a loved one. 

You feel the wedge between you and your family. 

Everything is a mess. 

It’s overwhelming. 

You just need help. 

We can handle everything for you. 

We handle family mediation with assets A LOT. 

We know the path to take to settle this whole thing. 

Fill out the form to get help and finally put this all to rest.

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