Contesting & Disputing A Will/Estate Plan


William,* a long time client of our firm, had called numerous times over the last several years, inquiring about the wisdom of executing a new will. William had been advised repeatedly to make an appointment and a new will could be easily constructed to meet his testamentary plan.  Sadly, William passed away on September 5, 2006 without changing or modifying his previous will which was executed on February 15, 1988.

William’s will left the majority of his estate to his children from his first marriage and a minor gift to Mary,* his then business associate.  Mary and William subsequently married in 1991 and worked together to build and expand their insurance brokerage business until they sold it in 2003.

John-Durkin-Color-High-Res.jpgFollowing William’s death, some of William’s children believed that Mary should receive only the minor gift left to her in William’s 1988 will. On behalf of Mary and the estate, Attorney John J. Durkin pursued a course in the probate establishing Mary as an “omitted” spouse, thereby qualifying her to receive all the community property acquired by William and Mary during the time of the marriage along with one half of William’s separate property. After the court reaffirmed the decision regarding Mary’s status as an omitted spouse, the dispute with the children was resolved favorably.

Estate Planning Attorney in Tacoma Family Will

If you do not have a will, we encourage you to make an appointment with one of our Estate Planning Attorneys for the purpose of reviewing and/or creating your estate plan. If you believe your will is outdated or if your family circumstance have changed due to divorce, marriage, or death of a loved one, our attorneys are available to assist you in completing a new will tailored to your individual estate plan. We can also prepare Community Property Agreements, Power of Attorneys and Health Care Directives.

*Client names have been changed for this article.

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