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HOW CAN I CONTEST THE VADILITY OF A WILL, THAT DID NOT GO THROUGH PROBATE?

Van Nuys, CA |

My father passed away and I know that my older brother fraudulently fabricated a will in which all of my father's assets are left to him. In addition he named him self the executor of the will. I know that this is fraud because the date that the notary signed the documents and on the date that the documents state to have been signed by my father, he was in ICU at USC Medical Center.... How can I contest the vadility of the will if it did not go through probate court? can I file a civil law suit for fraud instead?? can someone please give me at least the name of the pleading I need to prepare?? is it probate or civil ?? thank you

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Because you believe a contest over estate property is the next step, then you really need to get a consultation with a probate lawyer. Any action will occur in probate court. You could petition to probate your father's estate and claim he has no valid will, and that would force your brother to present and prove the will you believe is fraudulent. But I must emphasize, none of these actions are as simple as showing up and telling your side of the story. There are several procedural steps that must be taken, any one of which, not done properly can interfere with your claim.


  2. Until a Will is offered for probate it has no effect. When it is offered for probate, you can object to it as fraudulent. If there was a prior Wil, you can offer that for probate, or the nominated executor of that Will can do so. Whatever you do, don't try to represent yourself under any circumstances. It's far too technical. You need a good probate lawyer.

    Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.


  3. You mention few facts, not even when your father died, except that a Will was never admitted to probate.

    A fabricated Will, not admitted to probate, does not accomplish any purpose because it is only through probate proceedings that title to property can be cleared. So, right off the bat, your legal premise is unsound. There are other ways, however, that your brother could have obtained title to your father's estate. If that has happened your rights will depend on how and when that was accomplished and unknown facts.

    If you wish to pursue this matter, it is clear from your question that it is not a matter you can handle yourself. You need to consult and retain local probate or other counsel to obtain the necessary facts and to institute the appropriate legal proceedings if you ever hope to obtain a share of your father’s estate.

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  4. Dear Poster,

    I am sorry you have gone through this. I have worked on cases like this over the years - it is always terrible when it feels like one family member has taken advantage of a sick or dying parent. You basically need to hire a probate litigation / will contest lawyer to challenge the will that is admitted to probate. I agree with the other posters, it is going to be too technical to pursue on you own.

    Take care, and best of luck. Rabeh

    PLEASE READ: ATTORNEY ADVERTISING MATERIAL. I am providing you with general comments, not legal advice. Nothing in this answer creates an attorney-client relationship nor constitutes legal advice, as I do not know the facts of your case well enough to be able to guide you, nor am I making any promises about the outcome of your case, or any guarantees about my capabilities, skill level, or predicted success. If you would like to retain me to provide you with legal advice, please contact me and we can discuss the engagement.

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