Willan estate’s attorney represent all heirs against an heir contesting a Will?

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Willan estate’s attorney represent all heirs against an heir contesting a Will?

My father’s Will is being contested by my sister citing “undue influence”. His second wife is named executor and was left 20% of the estate; I was left 20%; and my sister was left 60%. This Will was made in 03/10. A prior Will made in 2007 left everything to my sister. My father died on 09/26/10. The attorney handling the estate is the attorney who wrote the Will. Do I need separate representation or will the estate’s attorney defend the Will?

Asked on November 11, 2010 under Estate Planning, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The estate's attorney will usually defend the will. That does not mean necessarily that he (or she) personally will take on the defense; someone attorneys are good at administration and drafting wills, others are good at litigation, for example. So the estate's attorney may choose to retain other counsel for the actual defense, but still, would normally be on the side of defending the will against challenges.

However, the best way to know for sure is to ask the attorney about what  position he will take and about whether you, as an heir with an interest in the will, might want to retain your own counsel to make sure that your interests are represented. (I suspect you might.) Attorneys are usually good about disclosing who and what they can represent, since conflicts of interest are one of the things attorneys can be disciplined for.


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