The majority of people have actually become aware of the concept behind a Will contest, yet most have actually never ever been included in one. A Last Will and Testimony can not be challenged merely since a potential recipient is not happy with what she or he received under the regards to the Will.
A Will contest is meant to bring to light something that in fact revokes the Will itself, such as that the testator did not have the psychological capacity required to carry out the Will or that someone unduly affected the testator at the time the Will was signed. Both of these were amongst the challenges to the Will of Doris Duke.
Doris Duke was the heir to a tobacco fortune. Born in 1912, her father passed away when she was just 13, leaving the bulk of his $100 million fortune to Doris and her mom. Although Doris married and divorced two times before her death in 1993, she had no biological kids. At the time of her death, the household fortune had actually grown to $1.3 billion. Shortly after her death, a Last Will and Testimony was provided for probate. It was executed just weeks before her death and called her butler, Barnard Lafferty, as the administrator of her estate. While that sufficed to raise concerns, additional regards to her estate plan also gave Lafferty almost complete control over her estate– something that anybody with that sort of cash generally does refrain from doing.
Numerous Will contests were filed. Amongst them was one by Harry Demopoulos, Duke’s friend and former physician. Demopoulos was likewise called as the administrator in her pervious Will. Demopoulos was convinced that Duke was not in her best mind when she executed the Will. Evidence presented to the court showed that Duke was heavily sedated throughout the weeks leading up to her death and was essentially cut off from anyone outside of your house. Demopoulos was provided a large settlement to drop the Will contest but turned it down. After a 3 year long court battle, which consisted of over 40 lawyers at an expense of about $10 million to Duke’s estate, the probate judge ruled in Demopoulos’s favor and removed Lafferty as the executor.
Sometimes, objecting to a Will is required when a family member or loved one is encouraged that the Will does not properly show what the testator would have wanted.