Chicago Will Contest Attorneys

Intended to enforce the wishes of an individual once they have passed, wills are legally binding documents that enforce how testators’ assets are distributed. While this process is fairly straight-forward, wills may be contested when a family member or beneficiary suspects that a will does not reflect the actual intentions of their loved one. If you find that this is the case after a loved one passes away, speak with a will contest lawyer about your situation.

Courts are typically motivated to honor the terms of a testator’s will unless compelling evidence proving otherwise is presented. When you truly believe that your loved one’s will is not an accurate reflection of their desires, reach out to a skilled attorney today. An experienced lawyer will evaluate your situation and help build a strong case.

The attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC have been working on behalf of Illinois families for decades. Our extensive experience with probate matters has equipped us with an invaluable understanding of how to best serve your needs. As the Chicago will contest attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC know, this process can be emotionally draining for everyone involved; however, we will do everything we can to help you ensure your loved one’s true wishes are upheld. To speak about your situation with a member of our team, call (855) 328-5787 today.

Why You Need a Lawyer

Contesting a will is an incredibly challenging process. Doing so without the help of a legal professional will make the process exponentially more difficult. Courts view any given will as the voice of the testator, or the person who created it. So when a person has passed away, courts are highly motivated to uphold the communicated wishes of the deceased. If you are serious about contesting a loved one’s will, your best chances of achieving a favorable outcome will involve hiring a skilled probate lawyer.

To successfully contest a will, you need compelling evidence to present during probate proceedings. While each case is different, if factors such as forgery, fraud, manipulation, and undue influence are involved, a skilled will contest attorney can help prove how one, or all, of these factors, impacted stipulations within the will.

In addition to providing much-needed legal guidance, an experienced probate lawyer can give you a comprehensive idea of how the legal process will unfold. From the general timeline to next steps in the event that a will is either partially or fully voided, a knowledgeable will contest lawyer is available to you to answer your questions and concerns as they arise.

Why Choose Peck Ritchey, LLC?

When it comes to estate and probate matters, the attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC fully understand how overwhelmed you may feel, especially in the aftermath of losing a loved one. We have dedicated our careers to providing a steady hand to families navigating the legal complexities of probate matters. When your loved one’s will does not accurately represent what they want, we are here to make sure that the situation is corrected.

Time and time again, the Chicago attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC have been awarded the Super Lawyers distinction by our peers for our integrity and professional achievements. We are serious about the results that we achieve for our clients. Not only do we care about our clients but we also care about serving our community.

Attorney Kerry Peck, at the helm of our leadership, has been recognized for his achievements and character with the Justice John Paul Stevens Award, the Chicago Bar Association’s most prestigious honor. We represent a variety of people, from minors, to disabled adults, to those who require special attention. We remain committed to helping as many people as we possibly can.

When a Will May Be Contested in Chicago

Should you suspect that any uncharacteristic provisions, heir eliminations, or otherwise suspicious aspects of a will, you should consider contesting the will. Our Chicago legal team is prepared to help you pursue cases in which you suspect any of the following:

  • The testator was unduly influenced by coercion, deception, or fraud
  • The testator was tricked or forced into a last-minute will modification
  • The will was changed by someone other than the testator

Heirs or legatees can be discouraged from contesting a will in the event that it includes of no-contest, or in terrorem, clause. These clauses can ultimately penalize beneficiaries. If a beneficiary contests a will and is unsuccessful in doing so, they could lose their inheritance.

A testator may include a no-contest clause to disincentivize legal disputes over the will. Though no-contest clauses are not enforceable in all states, they are technically enforceable in the state of Illinois. However, if you have good reason to believe that your loved one’s will should be contested, speak with a lawyer about your options.

If you believe that your loved one’s will does not reflect their true wishes, our will contest lawyers are ready to help. At Peck Ritchey, LLC, our Chicago legal team understands how difficult this process can be; we will do everything we can to help you protect the wishes of your loved one.

Who Can Contest a Will in Illinois?

Only certain parties have the ability to contest a will. Legally, those who are able to contest a will are referred to as “interested persons.” The Illinois Probate Act classifies heirs, creditors, legatees, and anyone in line for a spouse’s or child’s award as an interested person.

  • Heirs – Typically heirs are the individuals entitled to a portion of an estate. An affidavit of heirship is the means through which heirs are commonly established. In the event that a previous heir was disinherited, they would potentially be able to take action to prove that the testator disinherited them under duress or by accident.
  • Creditors – If the testator owed money when they passed away, creditors may be able to pursue payment from the remaining estate. While a creditor may be a person, in many cases, a creditor is a business or entity that the testator was making payments to before passing away, like a mortgage company or other
  • Legatee – A legatee is a beneficiary of the will. Legatees may or may not be related to the testator.

In some instances, the designation of “interested persons” can overlap. For example, heirs may or may not also be legatees depending on the specific details of a will. If you qualify to contest the will of a loved one, we are ready to help. Actions taken on behalf of your loved one after they have passed away should reflect their true wishes.

Consult with a Chicago Will Contest Attorney

At Peck Ritchey, LLC, our Chicago will contest attorneys are prepared to help you uphold the intentions of Chicago testators by contesting the terms of a will before it is executed. We have worked with countless Illinois families over the years, and aim to make the legal process as seamless as possible.

When you are coping with the loss of a loved one, taking legal action to contest a will can feel like a particularly daunting pursuit. However, with the help of a skilled Chicago will contest lawyer, you can feel confident that you are being taken care of. To discuss the particulars of your situation with one of our Chicago probate attorneys, please call our Chicago offices at (855) 328-5787 today.

Testimonials

When my Mom passed, I discovered that a family member had changed Mom’s will after she had dementia so I reached out to several law firms to find out what my obligations were as a Co-Trustee. They all felt that I was responsible to the other beneficiaries to investigate, but they also told me that “Undue Influence” was almost impossible to prove and I would most likely spend more in legal fees than I could gain back for the Trust.

Fortunately, my final phone call was to Tim Ritchey. Tim was interested in a preliminary review of documents and evidence before making any determination on my likelihood of success. From that point on, he laid out our strategy in steps that gradually recovered more important facts, and showed opposing counsel that we were serious. At each step along the way, Tim evaluated the decision to move forward based on the likely financial outcome, always advising me not to spend more in legal fees than I was likely to gain back.

For almost two years, I worked closely with Tim Ritchey and Kyle Fahey. They are both extremely smart, focused, tough, creative thinkers. I never once felt like my attorneys were trying to bill extra hours; they worked efficiently and remain focused on preparing us to win at trial- never sidetracked with unnecessary discovery battles that would not contribute to our success.

Kyle and Tim presented such a compelling case and clearly had no fear of taking it to trial, that the opposing counsel caved on the day of trial. With his outstanding negotiating skills, Tim was able to balance just the right amount of pressure, patience, and professionalism to give us a substantial advantage at the settlement table. In addition to the huge settlement we won, I am so grateful to Kyle and Tim for their thoughtful, compassionate and dedicated approach to such a sad family conflict.

–S.W.

We were extremely impressed with Peck Ritchey’s representation of us in complex litigation involving contested deeds, powers of attorney, and hundreds of acres of family farmland. Kerry Peck and Jesse Footlik were steadfast in their commitment to winning our case, which ultimately resulted in a tremendous settlement for us. Although our case was located in “downstate” Illinois, Kerry and Jesse’s timely and thorough communication made us feel like their office was right next door. We could not be more pleased with their services and the outcome of our case.

–K.S and K.S., Edgar County, IL

I was referred to Peck Ritchey by a former judge after he heard the problems I was having in my case with my first attorney. Kerry Peck and Tim Ritchey are experienced and professional litigators who helped turn my case around for me. I wish I would have gone to them first. They helped me in a contested will and trust matter and were exceptional. I would recommend them highly for any estate, will, or trust matter!

–J.F., Chicago

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Kerry Peck and Jesse Footlik for the professional and courteous manner in which Peck Richtey have assisted us during the past couple years. You will never know how much it meant to us.

–Kathy S from Champaign

If you want a great experience with your estate planning needs, then you owe it to yourself to visit with Ron Webb at Peck Ritchey.

He explained all the intricacies of optimizing our estate planning needs in a knowledgeable and very friendly manner. It was truly a pleasure working with him and the staff at Peck Ritchey. We highly recommend their services.

–Larry and Judy F., Crystal Lake, IL

Kerry Peck and Jesse Footlik represented me in an extremely complex and litigious trust dispute involving numerous parties. After several years of litigation, the case was settled with a very successful outcome.

Kerry and his team of diligent attorneys help develop creative and detailed strategies that proved to be an excellent solution and produced the results I was hoping to achieve. During the duration of the lawsuit, communication with the attorneys was timely and thorough. Their passion and attention to detail was genuine and unwavering during the entire ordeal. I was very fortunate to have the Peck Ritchey team for representation and it was a great experience working with them. Knowing that the stakes were extremely high in the trust dispute Peck Ritchey, LLC was the right firm to handle a litigious case of this magnitude.

–Harvey C, Chicago

Thank you so much for all of your work and time you spent in facilitating the purchase of our first home. I know we provided you with a short deadline and we appreciate both of you making it happen. The Escrow Officer commented on how seamless everything was for our close. We are extremely grateful for all of your effort. Thank you again!

–Steve T and Anna C

Very professional handling of my mother’s estate. Ron was there every step of the way and so were his paralegals I might add – from coming to Rush University when my mom was too sick to come to the office, and taking my phone calls, and always answering my questions, I can’t thank him enough! I am truly grateful for the wonderful experience with Peck Ritchey especially since it is already stressful enough when a loved one is ill. Thank you so much! We will be using your firm for our own estate planning in the very near future, I would definitely recommend Peck Ritchey.

–Brenda S., Crystal Lake, IL

Peck Ritchey was there with great advice when my family most needed it the most. They got my daughter’s guardianship done on time, and referred us to an expert social worker so we could get her cases through the complicated government systems. The social worker found that the trust put together by others were not in order. Peck Ritchey made new trust documents or amended existing trusts as needed and improved other existing documents. What I appreciate most is they explained it in plain English so I could understand what had to be and what has been done. I am grateful for everything they did and how they did it!

–Victor O., Chicago, IL
Accolades to Peck Ritchey (in particular, Ron Webb), for handling our estate issues professionally and expediently. We connected after attending a very informative presentation on estate planning, offered to retired educators. Everything was explained thoroughly, encouraging us to seek Ron Webb’s assistance and expertise. Thank you for a valuable experience and for giving us peace of mind for the future.
–Myrna B., Palos Heights, IL

I was Legal Guardian and Executor for mother who had passed away 12 years ago. There were two wills. One my mom wrote and another an aunt forced her to change while she had dementia. My former attorney advised me to pay the surety bond for all these years. He lost the original will and the file and closed down his office. My brother who was on SSI was still living in my mother’s apartment, and the estate was left to my mother’s four children. One sister wanted us to buy her out. She was impossible. Peck Ritchey worked with sister’s attorney, helped my brother and closed the estate with all its complications in a few months. We were all concerned that this would turn into a legal mess but they were true professionals, kind, caring and answered all our questions. This the law firm you want on your side. I highly recommend them regarding estates, legal guardianships and drawing up wills.

–Ellie W., Chicago, IL

Peck Ritchey both represents us defending our funding decisions, but also represents the best in leadership and support for issues that can change the quality of life of older persons. We are grateful that we are represented by a group of thoughtful and skilled experts on the law, and great colleagues in making the law work for our older clientele.

–Jon L., Oak Park, IL

My family is so grateful for the positive outcome in my mother’s guardianship trial that had divided our family. Tim Ritchey and the Peck Ritchey team were very professional and thorough in stepping up in an emergency situation and preparing for trial. Peck Ritchey provided us with the peace of mind that my mother will be cared for throughout the rest of her life.

–Kevin G. Chicago, IL

Thank you so much for your consistent attention to our case this past year. We were fairly small potatoes, yet you actually ‘got back’ and stayed on it. There were times when the government seemed to drop the ball more than my little league outfield, but my attorney was there. I realize that you actually went beyond the scope; I truly do appreciate your work.

–Kirt G., Chicago, IL

Peck Ritchey did an excellent job of resolving a very difficult estate matter.

–Scott S., Barrington Hills, IL

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