Disputing a Will: Steps to Take
A will is an official piece of documentation that showcases a deceased person’s final wishes with regards to their finances, assets, and estate. It is a vitally important piece of information, as it ensures that a person’s bequeathal instructions are carried out exactly how they wanted them to be.
Following the instructions laid out in a will goes way beyond ensuring that money and houses end up in the right hands, though. Taking this action is a final show of respect to someone who made such an impression on life, which is why it must be taken at all costs.
If you’re ever tasked with dealing with the last will and testament of a loved one, you should do all you can to ensure their final wishes are granted — if this means disputing the will, then so be it. It will be a difficult route to go down, but it’ll most certainly be worth it.
Here are the steps you must take when faced with the task of disputing a will:
Determine if you have the right to contest
You can’t dispute a will if you don’t have the right to do so. The first thing that you must do, then, is to determine whether or not you actually have ‘standing’ in your case.
For the most part, to be deemed to have ‘standing,’ you must be able to prove that you are going to be directly affected by the outcome of the case, regardless of which way it goes. This means proving that you are either a blood relation or heir, a lawful benefactor, or a creditor to whom money is owed. If you don’t prove your ‘standing’ when it comes to the process of contesting the will, quite simply, you can’t contest it.
File your dispute in a timely manner
Having the right to contest the will won’t mean anything if you don’t file your dispute in a timely manner. Depending on where you live, the laws regarding contestation time frames will be different, so it’s imperative that conduct research on the matter. Regardless of where you live or what laws you unearth, however, it’s recommended that you file your dispute as soon as you possibly can. The earlier you get the ball rolling in this instance, the more evidence you will be able to compile on the case and, thus, the better chance you will have of winning it.
Get yourself a lawyer
You’re not going to get anywhere with your case if you don’t have a lawyer by your side throughout the duration of it. Quite simply, you need someone that knows how to contest a will pointing you in the right direction every step of the way, as this will allow you to avoid making mistakes that could potentially see your case unravel.
An inheritance law solicitor will scrutinize the will and any key information surrounding it to ensure that nothing is being forged or lied about. You can be sure, then, that this kind of professional will leave no stone unturned as you seek to do right by your deceased loved one.
If you’re ever tasked with disputing a will, it’s imperative that you take the steps laid out above. Doing so could be the difference between you winning and losing your case.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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