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2 min read

Craig v. Rider A Legal Battle over Grandma's Will

Legal Battle | Grandma's Will | Probate Lawyer

Contested Will

Linda Lou Craig finds herself in a legal battle over her grandmother's will, as she firmly believes that her grandmother was not mentally capable of making such an important decision. Adding to her claim, Craig argues that her grandmother was unduly influenced in the creation of the will. This case centers around the crucial question of what constitutes "good cause" for overturning a decision to admit a will to probate.

Initially, Craig's attempt to set aside the order admitting the will to probate was met with disappointment when the trial court denied her motion. This decision was subsequently upheld by the Colorado Court of Appeals, leaving Craig frustrated and determined to fight for what she believes is right. Thankfully, her persistence paid off when the Supreme Court of Colorado reviewed the case and found an error in the trial court's ruling.

Valid Reason for delay

The Supreme Court recognized that Craig did, in fact, provide a valid reason for the delay in objecting to the probate of the will. As a result, they instructed the trial court to revoke the order and carefully consider Craig's objections on their merits. This decision provided a glimmer of hope for Craig, who believed that a balanced assessment should be conducted to evaluate three key factors: excusable neglect, a meritorious defense, and possible prejudice to the parties involved.

The court stressed the significance of meeting all three criteria, as failure to do so may result in the denial of the request to set aside a default judgment. In order to ensure a fair evaluation, the court recommended that all factors be considered collectively during a single hearing. This approach would allow for leniency when analyzing the justification behind any delay in challenging a probate order.

Meritorious objections

Delving into further detail, the court examined the evidence presented in the case and concluded that there were substantial allegations supporting Craig's meritorious objection to the admission of the will to probate. Additionally, they found no indication of any prejudice that would be caused by setting aside the order. Furthermore, the court determined that the trial court erred in ruling that Craig did not meet the excusable neglect criterion.

In an effort to provide clarity, the court elaborated on the reasons for adopting a lenient approach when considering motions to set aside default judgments. They also highlighted the requirements for establishing a meritorious defense and emphasized the standard for determining "good cause" to vacate an order admitting a will to probate.

To shed light on the relationship between Craig and her grandmother, the court shared details about their infrequent contact, which was evident throughout the case. Addressing the trial judge's decision, the court disagreed with the notion that Craig had not provided a legally sufficient reason for the delay in objecting to the probate of the will.

Ultimately, the court found that the trial court had abused its discretion by ruling that there was no valid reason to vacate the order of probate. In light of this, the court made the decision to reverse the order and sent the case back to the trial court for a thorough consideration of Craig's objections to the probate of the will.

As this legal battle continues, Linda Lou Craig remains hopeful that justice will prevail and that her grandmother's true intentions will be upheld.