Will Contests

1. Represented niece in an action to set aside the Last Will and Testament of her uncle. It was alleged that the uncle prepared a new Will, disinheriting the niece as a result of an insane delusion. The uncle falsely believed that his niece had stolen from him. In addition, it was demonstrated that the decedent suffered from dementia and, therefore, was incompetent to execute the Will. Nieces received substantial settlement.

2. Represented daughter in a suit against her brother to set aside the Last Will and Testament of their mother. The mother executed a Will following diagnosis of a brain tumor but had made a videotape explaining why her daughter was being disinherited. Confidential settlement.

3. Represented children of a man who executed a Last Will and Testament, disinheriting his children shortly after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Their father had created a Will extensively cutting out the children in favor of the children's stepmother who had married their father after he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Children received substantial settlement.

4. Represented brother seeking to set aside the Will of his brother. The Will was written while his brother was in the hospital having been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The Will benefited his brother's long-time girlfriend and was written by a lawyer upon instruction of the girlfriend's daughter. Client received substantial settlement.

5. Represented spouse in defense of a Will brought by the spouse's child from a previous marriage. Settled for costs of defense.

6. Represented nephew in pursuit of action to set aside the Will of uncle. During course of discovery, determined that Will was not executed in the presence of witnesses resulting in a substantial portion of the estate being distributed to the nephew.

7. Represented son in an effort to set aside a codicil (an amendment) to the Last Will & Testament of the decedent. During the course of discovery, it was learned that the codicil was written on the computer of the client's brother and other evidence of undue influence was obtained. By agreement, the codicil to the Will was set aside and held void.

8. Represented the Executrix and sole beneficiary of the Last Will and Testament of sister. Her sister was blind and suffering from substantial ailments when the Executrix brought the sister to an attorney who prepared a Last Will and Testament naming the Executrix as the sole beneficiary.

9. Represented nieces in action to set aside Last Will and Testament of their aunt. The original Will had been written in the 1960's. The Will had markings on it that, if proven to have been made by the decedent, demonstrated she revoked her Last Will and Testament. The nieces sued the named beneficiaries listed under the markings on the will in an effort to obtain a determination that the Will was revoked thereby causing probate assets to pass to the nieces. The nieces obtained substantial settlement in resolution of the claim.

10. Represented niece as sole beneficiary/Executor of decedent aunt's will. Decedent aunt suffered from terminal cancer and was in car accident. While recovering from the car accident, aunt met with her long time lawyer to ensure that niece received all of her assets and that decedent aunt's sister did not receive anything. Prior to car accident, decedent aunt's sister did not speak to aunt for many years despite aunt suffering through cancer. Upon decedent aunt's death, estranged sister filed Will Contest lawsuit arguing that niece was not entitled to anything since Will could not be valid for lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence exerted by niece on aunt. Evidence demonstrated aunt was of sound mind, in good health (despite cancer) and was adamant to lawyer during 3 separate meetings that aunt wanted niece to have everything. Case was settled with a substantial percentage of the Estate remaining with niece.

11. Represented son of decedent in Will Contest action that challenged Will signed after client's mom was whisked away from hospital care by estranged daughter from Cleveland to rural county in Ohio. Mother told authorities she wanted to be with daughter because son wanted to put her in a nursing home. Upon arrival in rural county, mother changed her Estate plan that was in existence for 10+ years benefiting son. Changes resulted in entire Estate going to estranged daughter and a $350,000 annuity going to daughter upon mother's death. Daughter deprived family members access to mom after changes were made and did not even advise son and his family of decedent's death. Client learned of mother's death through luckily seeing newspaper notice. Client filed Will Contest and challenged the change of beneficiary for the annuity. Case was settled prior to trial with a substantial portion of the Estate and annuity going to the son/client.

12. Represented nieces in Will Contest lawsuit seeking to set aside their reclusive aunt's Will which named elderly aunt's landlord as sole beneficiary. Litigation revealed landlord made promises of affection to aunt, had landlord's lawyer draft will for the aunt, and landlord had history of seducing women for financial gain. Case was settled giving nieces 100% of what they would have gotten if the will had been set aside.

13. After four days of jury trial defending a Will Contest, successfully argued a motion for directed verdict at the close of plaintiffs' case, resulting in a verdict in favor of the Defendants.  Our understanding of the doctrines of undue influence and what constitutes a confidential fiduciary relationship was of great help in the successful defense of the challenged Last Will and Testament.