If you are unhappy with the contents of a deceased friend or relative’s last will and testimony, it is possible to hire professionals to help you contest it. Ultimately, this means that you are attempting to have the will invalidated. There are a number of laws in place that dictate who is eligible to challenge a will and on what grounds. Here is what you need to know.
Who is allowed to contest a will?
You will be eligible to challenge a person’s will if you are a direct family member of theirs (i.e., their parent, child, or grandchild). You will also be eligible to challenge their will if you were their spouse, regardless of whether or not you were together at the time of their death. Other circumstances that would allow for a will to be contested include:
- If you are a beneficiary who was included in any previous will drawn up by the deceased
- If you were dependent on the deceased financially.
- If you are the deceased’s creditor.
- If you were promised an item by the deceased but were not included in their will.
Why can a will be contested?
The reality is that you cannot contest a last will and testimony simply because you do not agree with its contents. You will only be able to challenge it if you can prove that:
- The deceased was not in the right mind when they signed the last will or were unaware of what they were signing.
- The will was drawn up incorrectly.
- The will was not signed with witnesses present.
- The deceased’s signature was forged (you will need a handwriting expert to attest to this).
- You believe you have a right to the estate but are either not named or not adequately catered for.
Anyone interested in contesting a will should be aware that it is a lengthy process, especially considering that mediation is often the go-to solution in terms of solving the dispute. It is also important to note that there is a time limit involved in challenging the will. So it is important to deal with it straight away. The more you put off dealing with it, the lower your chance of success and the more expensive the entire process is likely to be. As a general rule, you will have roughly until an executor has been granted probate and begun to distribute the assets left behind from the deceased last will and testament. While it can be extremely challenging contesting a will after distribution, it is still possible.
Regardless of when you opt to contest the will, it is recommended that you contact experienced experts for assistance, such as the-inheritance-experts.co.uk. They will be able to advise you in terms of how to take your next steps.
In order to contest a will, you will first need to establish whether you are eligible and have legal grounds on which to do so. From there, you will need to generate evidence to support your claims and get in touch with experts in will disputes. By following these steps, the process should run as smoothly as it possibly can.