What to do if my uncle was coerced into leaving his money to the Salvation Army?

UPDATED: Nov 26, 2011

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What to do if my uncle was coerced into leaving his money to the Salvation Army?

My uncle had a Will made up leaving everything to my mom. When he died a few years ago, the Will that was found showed he left everything to Salvation Army. My uncle never owned anything – car, house, furniture. He lived like a homeless person and shopped at the Salvation Army. Some people from there began visiting him and then had him sign a paper. When he died we found out he left his money to the Salvation Army. He was not of sound mind. Is there anything we can do to get our uncle’s money?

Asked on November 26, 2011 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

IF you can show that he was mentally incompetent at the time he changed his will (or made a new one) and that somone exerted undue influence over time to get him to leave money to the Salvation Army, you could possibly have the will set aside in favor of either an earlier will, or  so that his assets will pass by intestate succession (in which case surving spouse, if any, children, if any, surviving parents, if any, and siblings,  like your mother, will take).

Challenging a will is not an easy or simple process; you should consult with a trusts and estate attorney about this situation. If there's no enough money at stake to make it worthwhile to retain a lawyer, it's probably not worth taking any action.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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