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Can my sister and I contest a will that was not offered for review for over three years?

Aurora, CO |

My mother passed away on 3-1-10. She was on several medications and not in her right mind when her will was rewritten and filed with the state. She had gotten married only eight months prior to a man that, to date, has not followed the instructions listed within the new document or any document superseding it. We are more interested in finding out what to do about the home and vehicles involved. We we're not given any information as to whether we were listed in the documentation. Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

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Attorney answers 4


More information would be needed. How were the home and car titled? If they were in joint names with the spouse, then there is probably nothing you can do. The Will would not apply to such assets. If they were in your mother's name alone, then probate would be needed. I am not sure why you have waited three years, but that is a very long time to wait to pursue this. I would take advantage of a free consultation and meet with a probate lawyer who can help you determine where you stand.

James Frederick

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I think there may be some confusion regarding the issues you have here.

Firstly, the time for challenge may have passed due to statute of limitations. That aside:

The grounds for contesting a will are typically mental incapacity or undue influence. These are very hard to prove in all cases because you would have to have evidence of her mental state or the circumstances at the time. If you were not around or not there when it was signed it is hard to prove these.

If the will is ultimately not valid, it is possible that the estate would be divided by state law. This would probably mean that the surviving spouse and her children would share the estate at that point.

If the will is valid and you are not a beneficiary there is not much you can do. You can however probably see the will if you call the local probate court and request a copy. If the will is valid and you are a beneficiary and the will is not being followed by the executor then you can request that the executor account for his actions and follow the will and/or be removed.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:


This question is a duplicate posting. Please see my answer for your other post.

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You need an attorney immediately. A will only controls assets in your mother name alone that dont otherwise pass by operation of law such as joint tenancy. The new husband may have done other bad things.

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