When Family Politics Impact
Your Rights, Fight Back.
There is simply no escaping family politics, which are at the root of many probate and trust litigation cases. But when one member of a family is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and is not fully accepted by the rest of the family, the politics can be especially bitter and contentious.
This often manifests when a member of the LGBTQ community dies and his or her will or trust is challenged. If you are the friend, partner or spouse of someone who has recently passed away, you may be facing accusations that your inheritance or beneficiary status is invalid.
The good news is that the law recognizes beneficiary rights without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. At Keechl Law, we are ready to help you fight to uphold a loved one’s will or trust and claim the assets that were legally bequeathed to you.
Do Any Of These Scenarios Sound Familiar?
Scenario one: Jennifer wrote a will while she was still single and left most assets to her family. Later, she met and fell in love with Brenda. They never married, but Jennifer changed her will to leave most assets to her long-time partner. Brenda’s parents are also named in the will, as they were very supportive of the relationship.
When Jennifer passes away, her family challenges the will, claiming that Brenda exerted undue influence. They petition to set aside the later version of the will, alleging that these were not Jennifer’s true intentions.
Scenario two: John has never been accepted by his family because he is gay. In his later years, he has no romantic partner or spouse. When it comes time to write his will, he chooses to leave most of his assets to a gay couple, both longtime friends of his, who did accept and support him.
John’s family challenges the will, claiming that John lacked the mental capacity to make such decisions at the time he wrote his will.
Scenario three: Sarah was in a long-term romantic relationship with Lisa, but the two were never able to marry. Nonetheless, they name each other in their respective wills.
Eventually, they break up and Sarah finds a new romantic partner near the end of her life. She forgets to change her will to include the new partner, but does so hastily before passing away. Lisa petitions to set aside the later will, claiming that the change was improperly executed.
A Law Firm Fighting For LGBTQ Couples
Undue influence, mental incapacity and improper execution are three of the most common arguments when challenging a will or trust. If you are facing any challenge similar to the scenarios above, Keechl Law will fight to defend your rights.
As any lawyer will tell you, a well-written estate plan can prevent many of these challenges in the first place. Therefore, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced estate planning attorney and update your documents as often as necessary. While we focus primarily on probate and trust litigation, we are happy to recommend other qualified attorneys who can assist you in the planning process.
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