Will or trust question

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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iamblessed
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Will or trust question

Post by iamblessed » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:00 pm

Can you contest a will or trust if you think its done unfairly even though you did receive a small portion? Could I be proven wrong and only get the amount said in the will or trust?

bluebolt
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by bluebolt » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:12 pm

iamblessed wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:00 pm
Can you contest a will or trust if you think its done unfairly even though you did receive a small portion? Could I be proven wrong and only get the amount said in the will or trust?
Unfairly according to whom? If it represents the deceased's wishes, then it's unclear what you could contest.
Obviously, speak to a trust/estate attorney if you want to get an opinion based on the specifics.

retired@50
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by retired@50 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:21 pm

Sometimes wills and/or trusts have clauses that state any person who chooses to contest this document gets nothing... Be careful and/or grateful.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:54 pm

There are valid reasons for contesting a will or trust, but because you feel you should have received more isn't one of them. Talk to a lawyer.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Gill
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by Gill » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:07 pm

Sure, there are specific grounds on which a will can be contested such as fraud, undue influence or incompetence of the testator. Because you don’t like the terms of the will is not one of them. It can be difficult and expensive to have a will declared invalid.
Gill
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randybobandy
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by randybobandy » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:38 pm

iamblessed wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:00 pm
Could I be proven wrong and only get the amount said in the will or trust?
Of course.

-randy bo bandy

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One Ping
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by One Ping » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:46 pm

randybobandy wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:38 pm
iamblessed wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:00 pm
Could I be proven wrong and only get the amount said in the will or trust?
Of course.

-randy bo bandy
Or less, as retired@50 said.
retired@50 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:21 pm
Sometimes wills and/or trusts have clauses that state any person who chooses to contest this document gets nothing... Be careful and/or grateful.
We have friends whose wills have this clause in them to protect the rest of their heirs from one who is self-centered and has a history of causing problems.

[edited to fix typo]
Last edited by One Ping on Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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6Pack
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by 6Pack » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:08 pm

retired@50 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:21 pm
Sometimes wills and/or trusts have clauses that state any person who chooses to contest this document gets nothing... Be careful and/or grateful.
These are called “In Terrorem” clauses. I’ve yet to have a client who doesn’t want one in their will - encourages everyone to play nice.

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iamblessed
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by iamblessed » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:10 am

Does this change if it is blood brothers same family?

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:20 am

Are you questioning whether the will or trust was fair, or whether the executor or trustee acted appropriately in disbursing the funds?

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:26 am

Unless you have compelling evidence of one of the exceptions cited by Gill (fraud, undue influence or incompetence of the testator), my suggestion is to remember your user name, @iamblessed. Perhaps the decedent thought that you were better off than other beneficiaries? Fwiw, I think putting in a small bequest is sometimes done to insure that nobody thinks the will writer "forgot" that person.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:40 am

iamblessed wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:10 am
Does this change if it is blood brothers same family?
No. Decedents get to choose who they leave their estates to.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

J Dough
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by J Dough » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:02 am

6Pack wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:08 pm
retired@50 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:21 pm
Sometimes wills and/or trusts have clauses that state any person who chooses to contest this document gets nothing... Be careful and/or grateful.
These are called “In Terrorem” clauses. I’ve yet to have a client who doesn’t want one in their will - encourages everyone to play nice.
This is another thing for the OP to talk to a local attorney about, or at least do some research on. In some states, these "no contest" clauses in a will are unenforceable. I guy I know was telling me about the will he did through one of the online will-creation semi-DIY software programs, and was telling me that he was happy he included a no-contest clause because he had a family situation where it could be important. He said, "If they challenge it, then they will get nothing!" The problem for him is that my state says that clause is unenforceable as a matter of public policy. After he dies, the effect of that provision in the will is zero, unless the person that may want to challenge it doesn't know the provision is unenforceable and is scared off by it.

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One Ping
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by One Ping » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:22 am

J Dough wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:02 am
In some states, these "no contest" clauses in a will are unenforceable. ... [M]y state says that clause is unenforceable as a matter of public policy.
Some = 2, Indiana and Florida. (see: STATE LAWS: NO-CONTEST CLAUSES, from the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.) So, for you in Indiana it is not enforceable. Ditto for those in Florida. Vermont apparently has no law addressing "in terrorem" clauses.

However, in all other states these clauses apparently are enforceable, with the exception of probable cause (in most cases). See pages 7 through 17 in linked reference for details.

AS ALWAYS, IANAL, so do your own due diligence.

edited for clarity on enforceability.
Last edited by One Ping on Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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bsteiner
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by bsteiner » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:07 pm

Of course you have to leave the person enough so he-she has something to lose by contesting.

Also if you provide for your children equally a challenge is less likely.

Ob81
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by Ob81 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:04 pm

The fact that you were mentioned in the will makes it extremely hard, and near pointless, to contest a will. Had you not been mentioned, you would actually have a stronger case.

There are instances where people were willed exactly $1 so that they could not contest on the basis that they were left out. Advice is to keep moving forward with life, and be great.

GeMoney
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by GeMoney » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:15 pm

I have first hand experience where disputes over uneven distribution of assets tears a family apart. Believe me, it doesn't just happen to high profile people. Jeffrey Condon's books gives many examples of this.

tesuzuki2002
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:22 pm

iamblessed wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:10 am
Does this change if it is blood brothers same family?
the will or trust is the wishing of the person who passed... it doesn't matter who the family is....

Case59
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Re: Will or trust question

Post by Case59 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:18 am

You need to consult a local attorney. Period. There is nothing particularly wrong with any of the responses to your postings, but everyone is guessing at what is going on. A sit-down with a local attorney who can ask a few clarifying questions will sort it out quickly, and wouldn't cost all that much.
"Most quotations on the internet are incorrect."-Mark Twain

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