Property Contests Attorney in San Diego, CA
It’s often easy to pass your property to your loved ones with a will and testament. However, there are some cases where an interested party may come to contest the contents of your will during probate. If this happens, it can delay the probate process, causing your heirs to pay a ton of money in attorney fees and court fees along with not being able to access the inheritance you’ve given them. A San Diego property contests attorney can help you tackle the issue from start to finish.
If you are worried about property contests, look no further than our esteemed property contests attorney from Casiano Law Firm!
Why Do I Need a Property Contests Attorney in San Diego, CA?
At Casiano Law Firm, Vinny Casiano believes that life is meant to be enjoyed from one generation to the next. If you need help with property contests, get in touch with him today!
We Offer Help Understanding Complicated Situations
Estate planning and elder law can be quite complicated. But property contest attorneys will know how to translate the technicalities and legal jargon into a simpler language.
Enjoy Customized Personal Solutions
Each person is a unique individual with their own wants and needs. Vinny listens to each client’s unique situation to tailor the solutions to their individual circumstances.
Dedication to Serving Seniors and Their Families
The firm is exclusively dedicated to serving seniors and their families. Since November of 2000, Vincent Casiano has helped hundreds of seniors and their families.
Aggressive Probate & Trust Litigation
Not all estate planning attorneys are true trust and probate litigators. Attorney Vincent Casiano is backed by years of experience in probate litigation cases.
Call (619) 800-6820 now for a no-charge phone consultation! Vinny will also answer your questions about any estate planning matter, including the right of survivorship, living wills, or estate planning documents and paperwork.
What is a Property Contest?
A will typically have to go through probate, where the contents of your will are authenticated. It’s during this probate period that an interested party can dispute your will. During probate, certain people can challenge the will and claim certain assets and properties that should be given to them.
Who Can Contest Property in San Diego, CA?
Not anyone can just show up to probate to legally challenge a will. A person can contest it if they would have otherwise benefitted. For example, someone who would have received assets under the law if no will was in place, or someone who would have gotten property in a previous will.
Typically, interested parties who can contest the will include:
- Creditors that the deceased person owes money
- The heirs, under intestacy laws of succession in CA
- Beneficiaries named in the will
Wills and trusts are important to make life easier for your beneficiaries. If you have a loved one you want to care for, then make sure you talk to San Diego property contests attorney Vincent Casiano to protect your assets from being challenged.
Valid Reasons for Property Contests
A person may have many personal reasons to contest a will. Maybe they’re jealous, spiteful, or greedy. Nonetheless, there have to be valid grounds to contest a will with evidence to back up the claim.
- Multiple wills. If there are multiple versions of the will, then a relative named in one of the previous versions can contest
- Violating the law. A valid will must follow the requirements set by California law. If the will is improperly drafted, it can cause the heirs of the decedent to lose out on their inheritance
- Incapacity. California courts assume that an adult who creates a will is of sound mind unless proven otherwise. Dementia, substance abuse issues, or other forms of incapacity may be valid grounds to challenge the will.
- Fraud or undue influence. There are people out there who take advantage of elderly people for their own benefit or fraudulently forge valid documents. Such cases violate the law and can be considered grounds to challenge the will.
Do you think you deserve to have a share of your relative’s estate? Do you want to prevent property contests and ensure your loved ones receive your assets? Do you need someone to talk about the legal process of estate planning? Call Casiano Law Firm to schedule a consultation!
How Can I Make Sure Loved Ones Get Their Share?
If you’re thinking about how to divide your assets, you’ll also want to make sure that it goes to whoever you want. Usually, a will can pass through probate without a hitch but there are more ways to protect your will from contests.
Skip the Will Entirely
The most effective strategy to avoid property contests is to avoid the formal probate process. The best way to do this is to set up a trust and transfer your assets into it. You can also designate the trust itself as your beneficiary since a trust is its own separate entity.
Trusts avoid the probate process, allowing you to designate who you want it to, and when you want them to receive it. Avoiding probate means that the will does not have any property, meaning the heirs have nothing to fight over in the first place! Call an esteemed property contests attorney to talk about setting up a trust to avoid probate entirely!
Don’t Let Your Beneficiaries Know About Your Will
Your beneficiaries can claim that undue influence made you reduce their share of their inheritance if another person is present during the preparation or signing of the will. Avoid involving anyone who stands to inherit anything to be present during these stages to prevent property contests.
Make A Video Recording of the Signing of the Will
Videotaping the will signing is often adequate evidence to show that you signed your will voluntarily with no undue influence. Even better if you can explain the reasoning behind the distribution of your estate while on camera.
There are risks when using this strategy. It can accidentally show that you do not have the sound decision-making capacity to make a proper estate plan. If you rehearse your video, the practice sessions may be discovered in court, making it difficult for your intended beneficiaries to receive their share. If you want to use this strategy, discuss it with our knowledgeable San Diego property contests attorney to ensure it’s properly carried out.
Get a Physician to Evaluate You
One strategy an interested party can use is to show you are incapacitated or cannot reliably distribute your assets. To counter this, a physician’s evaluation report can show that you have the adequate mental capacity to designate the distribution of your assets. Visit a qualified doctor to complete a competency evaluation report. With such an evaluation, there is enough evidence to show the court that you are mentally sound when planning your estate, enabling your heirs to get their share of your wealth.
Add a No-Contest Clause
One strategy to avoid contests is to include a no-contest clause in your will. This cause basically says that if one of the beneficiaries challenges your will and loses, then they get nothing. What is typically done is to give all your beneficiaries a small gift in the will, that way if they want to challenge, they risk losing the assets that you’ve given them.
Include the Reasoning in a Letter of Intent
If you plan to reduce someone’s share or leave them out of the will entirely, you can write a letter of intent with the reasons behind your decision. Have a trusted San Diego property contests attorney review the letter to make sure that the wording is clear. Then, you can give it to the executor of your will.
Call our San Diego Property Contests Attorney Now!
Life is meant to be enjoyed from one generation to the next. Passing on your hard-earned wealth to your loved ones makes it easier for them to carry on. Protect your estate from challenges by hiring a skilled property contests attorney from Casiano Law Firm.
With a dedication to serving seniors and our years of experience offering legal services, Vinny can ensure your loved ones get the assets they deserve. If you hire him, you do not have to worry about anyone contesting a will. Call Casiano Law Firm today to talk to an experienced estate planning attorney!