Trust & Probate Litigation Attorneys | Joplin, MO
Joplin Undue Influence Lawyer
When an elderly person changes his or her will to favor one beneficiary at the expense of another, long-simmering family disputes can boil over. At Copeland & Brown, our lawyers handle litigation over wills and trusts in Joplin, Carthage, Neosho and throughout Southwest Missouri. We have successfully prosecuted, and defended undue influence claims for our clients.
The following are examples of the types of probate disputes our lawyers handle:
- Will contests
- Breach of fiduciary duty by an executor of a will, trustee of a trust, guardian or agent under a power of attorney
- Fraudulent real estate transfers
- Theft, misappropriation or misuse of assets by an executor, trustee, guardian or agent
In addition to handing disputes, our lawyers are available to supervise the probate process to ensure your interests are protected.
In a hotly contested probate litigation, my family and I needed the guidance and tenacity that the attorneys at Copeland and Brown provide. They helped move the estate on to completion so that we could finally get back to our normal lives. If you are in a probate battle, I would highly recommend Jeremy at Copeland and Brown.J. A.
When Can a Missouri Will Be Contested?
In Missouri, a will can be contested for a number of reasons:
- Improper execution
- Undue influence by a caretaker or person in position of trust
- Evidence of forgery
- More recent versions of the will
- Mental incompetence on the part of the person making the will
One of the most common situations that gives rise to a will (or trust) contest is when an elderly person changes his or her will (or trust) to favor a caretaker or one child over another. This often gives rise to a claim of undue influence.
If a claim of undue influence is proven, the will may be set aside. Changes to a trust or real estate deed transfers may also be set aside if there is undue influence or if the person making the change is incompetent, vulnerable or otherwise defenseless.
A close relative had deeded me the family farm before he passed away. Other members of the family were up in arms and filed suit alleging I had unduly influenced him to deed the farm to me. They battled us all the way up to the Missouri Court of Appeals. Jeremy and Bruce diligently fought to preserve my uncle’s wishes and helped me keep the farm in the family, just as my uncle desired. They fought and won at trial and continued fighting and winning on appeal. Years later, I’m still farming on my family farm. Thanks Copeland and Brown.Kelvin R.