If you ask most estate planning attorneys about the parties that are most apt to get involved in contested will disputes, they'll likely tell you that they see more than their fair share of ones between stepchildren and their stepmothers.
When a testator, or the person who is drafting a will, goes to select the executor of their estate, they're often advised to pick someone who is both loyal and trustworthy. They're told to do this to make sure that their final wishes have the best chance of being honored and also because there's often significant wealth that they are entrusted to handle. Executors who have poorly handled their responsibilities have been sued.
While different ideas may come to mind when you hear the term "holographic will," it simply refers to a will that has been handwritten as opposed to being typed out. They are most commonly drafted in situations in which an individual knows that they're nearing death, and they're not surrounded by anyone else to help type or witness the document being written. Such wills are valid in California under select circumstances.
Estate disputes often revolve around some indication that the will may not represent the person's true desires. For instance, an heir may contest that:
Many parents do not talk about estate planning with their children. Even so, the children may have certain things that they expect or that they have been counting on.