Losing a loved one is already a life-changing event to have to go through, but it can be even more stressful when there are disputes over the outcome of their will. A lot of people don’t understand their rights when it comes to whether or not they have a case to contest the outcomes of a will, so it is essential to understand what you can do to make the process easier. If you are currently facing a difficult situation in the aftermath of your loss, then here are a few tips for contesting a will that you might find helpful.
- Defining the basis for your dispute
There are a number of different reasons why someone might choose to contest a will, but there are only two that are likely to be accepted by a court of law. Firstly, you might make a claim if you believe the will was somehow invalid, such as if you feel the outcome of the will was coerced when the deceased was vulnerable or not in their sound mind. Alternatively, you might not dispute the validity of the will, but instead, make the claim that you were not sufficiently provided for.
- Understanding your rights to claim
Depending on the type of claim you make, the courts will take a number of factors into consideration. For example, if you assert that you weren’t sufficiently provided for, your financial situation and the size of the estate in question will be taken into account. However, it is crucial to be aware that only specific individuals can make this claim, such as current or previous spouses, or any child or person who was actively being cared for by the deceased before their death. On the other hand, anyone can dispute the validity of a will, so long as there is a strong case for the claim.
- Getting professional advice
Undertaking the task of contesting a will can be a confusing and long-winded process, so it is essential to seek the advice of professionals who can help you to navigate the situation, such as the-inheritance-experts.co.uk. While there isn’t necessarily a time limit on how long you have to contest a will, a court might question why it took you so long if you wait, so it is important to take action as quickly as possible. You should also take into consideration that the longer you wait, the more likely it is that assets within the estate will dissipate.
- Understanding what is important
No matter the dispute that you and your family members might currently be facing, it is important to find ways to preserve the relationships that matter to you the most. Try to keep open lines of communication in any way you can, such as by coming to an agreement that the dispute won’t be discussed outside of supervised circumstances. Alternatively, you might decide to seek the help of an intermediary or someone who can keep the peace during disagreements, or use solicitors to help settle disagreements outside of court proceedings to reduce the strain between you and your family members.