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Will Contest Attorneys in Portland Oregon

When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, managing the legal and logistical aspects of death only adds stress to an already difficult time. If you're concerned that their will may not be a valid or accurate reflection of their wishes, the prospect of contesting a will can exacerbate the stress and grief you’re facing even further, but you don’t have to face this process alone.  

Understanding your rights and options when challenging a will can help ease some of the stress. The Mastanduno Law Group offers compassionate and informed counsel to those navigating Oregon's will contest laws.  

What Is a Will Contest?

A will contest occurs when someone challenges the validity of a will. Contesting a will often stems from genuine concerns about the circumstances surrounding its creation or revision. Specific legal grounds must be proven to contest a will successfully. 

Legal Grounds for Contesting a Will in Oregon

A will's validity can be challenged on several legal grounds in Oregon: 

  • Lack of testamentary capacity: Lack of testamentary capacity refers to situations where the decedent may not have been in a mental state where they were capable of comprehending the nature and implications of the will at the time of its execution. It must be demonstrated that the decedent lacked the mental clarity to understand the document they were signing, their assets, or the identities of the intended beneficiaries. 

  • Undue influence: Undue influence occurs when the decedent is pressured into making decisions that do not reflect their true intentions, often by someone with a close relationship who stands to gain.  

  • Improper execution: Oregon law prescribes specific formalities for a will's execution. Failure to comply renders the will invalid. 

  • Fraud or forgery: Challenges can be made if the will was altered fraudulently or entirely forged. 

  • Existence of a subsequent will: A newer, valid will that revokes or alters the previous one can also be grounds for contest. 

Each of these reasons highlights the importance of protecting the final wishes of your loved one so that they are honored accurately and with fairness, a principle that guides our practice at Mastanduno Law Group.

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Can Anyone Contest a Will in Oregon?

Not everyone has legal standing to contest a will in Oregon. Typically, only the interested parties affected by the case's outcome have the right to challenge a will.

This includes beneficiaries named in a previous version of the will, heirs-at-law who would inherit under intestacy laws if the will is invalidated, and creditors with valid claims against the estate. 

Overview of Oregon’s Will Contest Process

The process of initiating a will contest in Oregon begins with filing a petition in the probate court, challenging the will's validity based on one of the legal grounds recognized by Oregon law, and unfolds over several key stages: 

  1. Initiating a challenge: A formal challenge must be filed in the county where the estate proceedings are held, typically within a specific time frame after the will's probate admission

  1. Notification: The court will set a hearing date upon filing, and all the relevant parties will be notified. 

  1. Discovery: Both parties engage in evidence gathering. This may include witness testimonies, medical records, expert opinions on the deceased's mental capacity, and any relevant documentation that supports the claim of undue influence, fraud, or lack of testamentary capacity.  

  1. Mediation: Often, disputes are resolved through mediation, involving a neutral mediator assisting the parties in reaching a consensual agreement. 

  1. Trial: If mediation is not successful, the dispute may proceed to trial, where both sides present their case.  

  1. Judgment: The judge's decision will be based on the evidence presented. An invalid will results in estate distribution under a prior will or, in its absence, according to Oregon's intestacy laws. 

Mastanduno Law Group supports its clients through every step with open and transparent communication and prioritizing that its clients are informed and comfortable with every decision made. 

Considerations Before Contesting a Will

Those challenging the will of a loved one will want to prepare for the emotional and financial aspects of this process.  

  • Time and cost: The will contest process can be lengthy and costly. Weigh the potential outcomes against these considerations. 

  • Evidence quality: Success hinges on clear, convincing evidence. Assess the strength of your case. 

  • Relationship impact: These cases can bring sensitive family dynamics and disputes to the surface. Consider the potential emotional toll. 

Before embarking on a will contest, consult with an attorney specializing in Oregon estate law. Mastanduno Law Group approaches these challenges with empathy and professionalism, guiding its clients toward resolution in a manner that honors their loved one's memory and intentions. 

How Can Mastanduno Law Group Help?

Mastanduno Law Group is particularly suited to handle will contest cases through a deliberate laid-back but professional approach. This philosophy aims to make clients feel at ease, fostering an environment of open and honest communication.  

The firm’s dedication to understanding each client's unique situation and objectives allows them to craft tailored strategies that aim to resolve legal matters efficiently and safeguard the emotional well-being of their clients. 

The attorneys at Mastanduno Law Group have extensive experience in handling will contests and estate litigation cases. They understand the nuances of Oregon's laws regarding will contests and can provide strategic guidance tailored to your situation.

Whether you're concerned about the validity of a will or believe you have been wrongfully excluded from an inheritance, their attorneys will advocate for your rights. 

Ultimately, choosing Mastanduno Law Group means partnering with local lawyers who genuinely care about your case. Their promise to provide straightforward and honest advice, combined with their experience in collaborative law and alternative dispute resolution, makes them the ideal choice for anyone looking to contest a will.

Will Contest Attorneys
Serving Portland Oregon

If you need support in contesting a will in Portland, Gresham, Beaverton, Troutdale, Oregon City, Clackamas, Multnomah County, Clackamas County, or Washington County Oregon, don't hesitate to reach out to Mastanduno Law Group. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your concerns and explore your legal options.