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Philadelphia PA Estate Planning Blog

Friday, September 10, 2010

Will Challenges

Upon your passing, your will becomes a public document once it is probated. Probate is a formal legal process of your executor proving your will, being formally named executor, and accounting/distributing assets.

Because a Will is a public document upon probate, it is important to consider the possibility that someone may challenge your Will. The most legitimate challenges to your Will typically come from spouses or children.

In PA, you cannot disinherit your spouse completely unless he or she formally agrees. A spouse is always entitled to an "elective share" or 1/3 of the estate, even if he or she is disinherited in your will.

A child can be disinherited, but you must affirmatively disinherit him or her in your will.

Another factor that can make a Will challenge more successful is if you wrote the Will while you were incompetent, or while you were being unduly influenced by someone else.

A substitute for a Will is a living trust, which does not go through the probate process. However, a living trust, just like any person or entity, is still subject to challenge in court. However, by virtue of not being automatically public, a living trust discourages frivolous challenges.

Let our firm assist you: Our firm offers a complimentary estate plan review and consultation. Please call us today at (215) 706-0200 or email us.

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The Law Offices of Jeremy A. Wechsler assist clients with Estate Planning matters in Willow Grove, PA as well as Abington, Hatboro, Dresher, Horsham, Bryn Athyn, Huntingdon Valley, Fort Washington, Jenkintown, Glenside, Oreland, Warminister, Wyncote, Ambler, Elkins Park, Flourtown, Philadelphia, Warrington, Cheltenham, Gwynedd Valley, Jamison, Feasterville Trevose, Richboro, North Wales, Blue Bell, Lafayette Hill, King of Prussia, Collegeville, Oaks, Phoenixville, Oxford Valley, Langhorne, Penndel, Bristol, Fairless Hills, Bensalem, Plymouth Meeting, Furlong, Philadelphia County, Bucks County and Montgomery County.

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