The passing of a loved one can cause many hardships. You may be upset emotionally as you work to accept the fact that your family member is no longer around, and you could even face other burdens depending on how significant of a role the person played in running your household. Unfortunately, some Washington state residents may experience even more difficulties during the probate process.
You may have anticipated receiving assets from your loved one or had other expectations from his or her estate plan. When the time came to probate the estate, however, you may have received shocking news instead.
When you learned of the contents of the will, you may have still been named a beneficiary, but it may have been for much less than you expected. Additionally, another person may have benefited greatly from the information in the will, and it may have been an unexpected person. For example, if your loved one was elderly and had a caretaker, you may have felt taken aback when that person ended up in line to obtain the majority of the estate.
It could also be possible that an estranged family member came back into your loved one’s life near the end and somehow received a significant portion of the estate. If this type of scenario raises red flags for you, you may want to follow your instincts and look closer into any suspected wrongdoing.
If someone started spending a considerable amount of time with your loved one and he or she was in a vulnerable state near the end of life, it is possible that the person could have unduly influenced your loved one into changing his or her will. This can happen through coercive actions and the taking advantage of a weaker party. If your loved one was elderly or suffered from mental decline, those vulnerabilities could have opened him or her up to such actions.
If you believe that someone unduly influenced your loved one into changing his or her will, you may want to consider your legal options. This type of situation could warrant contesting the will and moving forward with probate litigation. Discussing your exact concerns with a probate attorney could allow you to gain some insight into how you could handle this worrisome scenario.