Many people have heard of the idea behind a Will contest, yet most have actually never ever been involved in one. A Last Will and Testimony can not be challenged merely because a possible recipient is not delighted with what he or she got 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 execute the Will or that somebody unduly influenced the testator at the time the Will was signed. Both of these were amongst the obstacles to the Will of Doris Duke.
Doris Duke was the heir to a tobacco fortune. Born in 1912, her father died when she was just 13, leaving most of his $100 million fortune to Doris and her mom. Although Doris wed and separated twice before her death in 1993, she had no biological children. At the time of her death, the family fortune had actually grown to $1.3 billion. Shortly after her death, a Last Will and Testimony was presented for probate. It was executed simply weeks before her death and called her butler, Barnard Lafferty, as the administrator of her estate. While that was enough to raise questions, extra regards to her estate plan also offered Lafferty almost complete control over her estate– something that anybody with that sort of cash normally does refrain from doing.
Numerous Will contests were filed. Among them was one by Harry Demopoulos, Duke’s pal and previous physician. Demopoulos was likewise named as the executor in her pervious Will. Demopoulos was convinced that Duke was not in her ideal mind when she carried out the Will. Evidence provided to the court showed that Duke was heavily sedated throughout the weeks leading up to her death and was basically cut off from anyone outside of your house. Demopoulos was offered a big settlement to drop the Will contest however turned it down. After a three year long court battle, that included over 40 lawyers at a cost of about $10 million to Duke’s estate, the probate judge ruled in Demopoulos’s favor and eliminated Lafferty as the administrator.
Sometimes, objecting to a Will is necessary when a member of the family or enjoyed one is persuaded that the Will does not accurately reflect what the testator would have wanted.