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February 02

The Wave of the Future: Contest Joint or Payable on Death Accounts Due to Undue Influence

Written by Thomas Upchurch , , , ,

As the wave of more savvy and legally informed individuals choose alternate methods to avoid costly probate, litigation will likely sway toward joint or payable on death account designations based upon undue influence instead of the more commonly used Will Contests due to undue influence.

Does this mean it’s the end of Last Will and Testaments and/or Probate litigation?

Not exactly. At this time, there are other assets that still require probate proceedings. A decedent may forget he or she had stock or bonds somewhere else.

A prime example was a case that came across my desk where the decedent was a designated beneficiary from her father’s estate. While her father’s estate was still open and the final distribution had not been made yet, the daughter died unexpectedly in a car accident causing probate assets outside of her trust.
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