A trust can be contested when someone has probable cause to believe that the trustor or benefactor (the deceased person) was influenced or mentally incapacitated when he or she signed the trust, or that the trust signature was forged. In order to contest a suspicious trust and challenge its validity, a person will have to file a contest petition in court.
If you want to contest a will or trust in Georgia, you will need an experienced Peachtree City trust litigation lawyer on your side to help you present substantial evidence to support your allegations. In order to challenge a trust’s validity, one of the following things has to be proven:
- The benefactor’s signature was forged. You will have to challenge the validity of the document and show evidence of what the trustor’s signature looked like in order to prove forgery.
- The benefactor was under duress or undue influence. Did another party have undue influence over the trustor at the time he or she was creating his or her trust? In order to prove this, you and your attorney can show that the benefactor was in a weak mental state by having witnesses testify to this. Additionally, you can present the court with the interactions between the trustor and influencer, as well as any questionable background information regarding the other party.
- The benefactor lacked the mental capacity to understand what he or she was doing. Do you have evidence to support that the trustor was not the same or otherwise incapacitated when executing his or her trust? Neighbors, friends, and relatives may be able to testify to this in order to prove mental incapacity. Additionally, medical records can be subpoenaed and examined to find out if they can help establish mental incapacity.
In order to win a trust contest petition in Georgia, your lawyer will know what to focus on. For example, it’s not enough to simply tell the court that the deceased person would have left you a portion of the estate, so you assume that he or she was tricked into disinheriting you. A skilled trust litigation attorney will know that the case should focus on proving the trustor’s mental state at the time the trust was signed. Additionally, if a trustor left his or her entire estate to a person he or she just met or, an attorney can raise a red flag and question the likelihood of undue influence.
If you feel wronged by a trust and have probable cause to believe the trustor was under duress, you have a small window to take legal action and challenge the validity of the trust. Talk with a knowledgeable Peachtree City, Georgia trust litigation attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith in a free consultation at 770.487.8999 today.