Chicago Estate Litigation Attorneys for Decedent’s Failure of Intentionality
Handling a lawsuit while grieving the loss of a loved one can be overwhelming and stressful. At Peck Ritchey, LLC, we understand the uphill battle you face while settling your deceased family member’s estate. If you believe the decedent didn’t mean to leave someone out of their will or accidentally distributed a specific asset to an unintended recipient, you should contact us immediately.
Disputes can arise regarding how the decedent divided their estate among the beneficiaries or heirs. You might face a lawsuit from one of your relatives or want to pursue legal action to receive the assets you believe are rightfully yours. Estate litigation can be a complicated process to go through alone. You shouldn’t attempt to handle your case without an experienced lawyer by your side.
The Chicago decedent’s estate litigation attorneys of Peck Ritchey, LLC have over 100 years of combined experience representing clients in estate litigation matters. Whether your loved one made a mistake while creating their estate plan or failed to update their will before passing away, we can help you with the disputes you face with other beneficiaries or family members.
For a free case evaluation to learn more about your legal options, call us at (855) 328-5787 right now.
Creating a Valid Estate Plan in Illinois
For an estate plan to be valid in Illinois, various requirements must be satisfied. However, there are times when the person creating the legal documents for their estate makes a mistake. If they pass away before making necessary changes or updates to their will and other documentation, their heirs and beneficiaries could face issues administering the estate.
An estate plan must include these elements for a court to validate it and authorize the distribution of property:
- The testator (the person creating the will) was 18 years old at the time of drafting the document
- The testator was of sound mind and had the mental capacity to understand the actions they took and the consequences of those actions
- The testator and at least two witnesses signed the document
“Failure of intentionality” means the decedent made a mistake while drafting the will. Someone might think the decedent either forgot to update the document to include them as a beneficiary or left them fewer assets than intended. Either way, that person might pursue legal action to receive assets they think belongs to them, delaying the process of administering the estate.
Failure of Intentionality in Estate Litigation
Failure of intentionality can occur for multiple reasons. However, the primary factor in this type of claim is that someone believes the testator’s error resulted in an invalid will that doesn’t reflect their wishes. Common scenarios leading to a failure of intentionality claim include:
- An asset left to a family member that was verbally promised to someone else
- A lesser amount of the estate distributed to a beneficiary
- Someone was left out of the will entirely by mistake
- The decedent intended to add someone to the will but passed away before they were able to
- The distribution of assets does not carry out the decedent’s actual wishes
- An out-of-date will does not address significant life events, such as a death, birth, or marriage
- The will includes an incorrect name of a beneficiary for the distribution of property, such as a maiden name instead of a married name
If you face a dispute regarding the elements of your loved one’s will, you should reach out to Peck Ritchey, LLC today. One of our Chicago estate litigation attorneys can meet you for a free consultation to review the details and determine what we can do to resolve the matter favorably so you can settle the estate as soon as possible.
Parties Eligible to Contest a Will in Illinois
There must be grounds to contest a decedent’s will. That means the person pursuing litigation should have a valid reason to believe the testator made a mistake while creating their estate plan, resulting in incorrect or missing information regarding the distribution of assets.
According to Illinois statute 755 8-1, any interested party can contest the validity of a deceased person’s will. Interested parties are individuals who represent or have a financial interest, fiduciary status, or property right that might be affected by the power, proceeding, or action. This can include:
- Representative of the decedent’s estate
- Anyone entitled to a child or spouse’s award
Additionally, the right to continue or institute a proceeding to challenge a will’s validity survives and descends to the deceased’s:
- Assignee of the individual entitled to the proceeding
The interested party must file their petition with the probate court within six months of the date the will has been admitted to probate. Once the deadline passes, it likely won’t be possible to contest the will.
Why Hire Peck Ritchey, LLC?
You might think you can avoid seeking legal representation while handling an estate litigation case. However, you can encounter obstacles you don’t know how to overcome during the process. Without an experienced lawyer by your side, you will likely face an undesirable outcome. The court could rule in someone else’s favor, causing a distribution of your loved one’s estate that doesn’t meet their final wishes.
Peck Ritchey, LLC knows what it takes to protect the rights of our clients and fight back against unfair claims. When you’re involved in a legal battle with another family member, the situation can be emotionally charged. You likely won’t have the mental or emotional capacity to think clearly and make sound decisions. Our legal team can handle every step of the process on your behalf to settle your loved one’s estate and ensure execution of their will the way they intended.
At Peck Ritchey, LLC, we have a proven track record of success handling estate litigation matters. We dedicate our time and attention to each case we take. You won’t feel ignored or forgotten about when you hire us. We will remain in your corner from start to finish of legal proceedings and provide the guidance and support you deserve.
Our Chicago estate litigation attorneys are ready to help you resolve the dispute you face so you can settle your loved one’s estate and move forward with your life. Call Peck Ritchey, LLC at (855) 328-5787 right now for your free consultation and let us help you protect your loved one’s legacy and uphold their final wishes after their death.