If you are creating a will or trust with multiple beneficiaries in California, you may have learned about California’s no-contest clause, which prohibits a beneficiary of your will from receiving a gift if they challenge the will in court.
Although being left out of a will is not a situation you imagined yourself in, it is important to consider your position, take steps to clarify why you were not included, and explore the legal remedies for contesting the will if necessary.
While we might consider it rude to investigate the amount or circumstances of a gift, it is perfectly reasonable – and even advisable – to seek further information if you think a gift may be fraudulent.
While most wills proceed through the probate process – that is, the legal process of authorizing a will as valid – some were created or signed under invalid circumstances. Anyone who stands to gain something from a will can contest the document in court.
The designated administrator of a trust has an obligation to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries of that trust; if they fail to do so, there are several legal courses of action that beneficiaries can pursue.