The movie “Knives Out”tells the story of a man who has changed his estate plan just before being found dead. However, it is important for California moviegoers to remember that the movie isn’t an accurate portrayal of what happens when a person dies. For instance, there is generally no reading of the will by an executor or attorney after the testator dies. Of course, family members and other interested parties may be able to contest a will even if it’s not read out loud.
This may occur if a person believes that a will was changed because of undue influence. Undue influence occurs when an individual is convinced to take an action without having the ability to understand the consequences of doing so. If a judge finds that a person was misled into changing an estate plan document, it could be partially or wholly invalidated.
The movie also does a good job of showing how family dynamics can impact an estate plan or how it is executed. It also accurately portrays the concept of a slayer statute. The statute says that someone who intentional kills an individual cannot inherit his or her possessions. In some cases, children or other extended family members could also be prevented from inheriting assets from a person who was murdered.
There are many potential reasons why family members may be involved in probate disputes. For instance, a child may believe that he or she was removed from a will in a manner that violates state law. An attorney may be able to help those who feel as if they were wrongfully denied an inheritance. Furthermore, legal counsel may be able to help resolve disputes in a timely manner, which may help to preserve assets.