Will Contest Lawyers Serving Massachusetts and Vermont

We all hope our loved ones leave behind wills and estate documents which clearly spell out their wishes without controversy. However, this is not always the case. Some individuals lack the capacity to make a valid will. Others may be coerced into signing documents through undue influence or fraud. In certain cases, the necessary legal formalities may not have been followed to create a legally binding document. In each of these examples, the rights of the possible beneficiaries must be determined before the estate property is distributed. Both Massachusetts and Vermont have laws and procedures for challenging the validity of a will.

When an individual makes a will, they must be of "sound mind" and have "testamentary capacity," meaning that they must be able to understand what they are doing. In many cases, an elderly person who suffers from an illness affecting their mental facilities, such as Alzheimer's, dementia or late-stage cancer, may not have the sufficient mental capacity required to sign a will. Elderly individuals may also be taken advantage of by caretakers, friends or even family and coerced into signing a will through undue influence or even fraud.

If you or a loved one has been negatively affected by a change to a will or the creation of a new will, you may have the right to challenge the validity of that will. You should contact an attorney as soon as you are aware of any potential issues regarding the validity of a will. If you do not contest a will within the specific time allowed by the probate court, you may be forever barred from doing so.

Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, LLP, has experience representing clients in will contest matters related to validity and breaches of fiduciary duty. Our firm represents individuals and families contesting the validity of a will as well as individuals and families defending against a will in both Massachusetts and Vermont. Our team of litigators is prepared to represent you or your family in a will contest, including cases involving:

  • Undue influence
  • Fraud
  • Lack of mental capacity
  • Ambiguities
  • Mistakes
  • Failing to observe legal formalities
  • Breach of fiduciary duty

For a consultation with an estate planning lawyer at Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, LLP, contact our firm. We have offices in North Adams, Springfield and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and Bennington, Vermont, to serve you.