Do you remember your loved one discussing a will prior to their death? Even if you do, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the will is going to reflect their wishes. Because of this, you may need to explore the possibility that there will be a contested will.
If you are considering, then you need to know what that involves. There are many circumstances that can result in a will being contested, and, as such, taking legal action may go all the way to the supreme court.
Keep reading to learn more about it and what your options can be.
1. Any Interested Parties May Challenge It
A contested will is one that is challenged by someone who believes that he or she should be the recipient of some money or property that is part of the will. Anyone who has an interest in the outcome of the contest will challenge it. This includes anyone who stands to gain or lose money or property mentioned in the will.
Interested parties include the executors of the will, as well as heirs, beneficiaries, creditors, and those contesting the will. Parties may contest the will because it does not accurately reflect the wishes of the testator due to undue influence or under circumstances that involve fraud or duress. It is important for anyone interested in challenging the will to understand the process and legal steps required to do so.
2. All Parties Must Provide Legal Proof to Support Their Case
When contesting a will, providing legal proof is essential for a successful outcome. All parties must use evidence that correctly documents and establishes all legal facts.
This can include the will itself, as well as any accompanying documents like related letters, texts, emails, notes, or other communication. If you are the one who challenged the will, a probate attorney will help you understand exactly what documents and testimonies can solidify your case.
They have experience in this area and can point out any possible weaknesses in the evidence. A lawyer can also help present the evidence in a clear and succinct manner that speaks to the intentions of the deceased.
They provide direction on exactly what information to prove the validity of the will. By working with an experienced probate attorney, you can stand a better chance of achieving a positive outcome.
3. Be Prepared for the Fees
To start the legal process, it is important to understand that the estate will incur certain fees. This includes fees associated with the probate court process and fees associated with the attorneys involved. There may also be filing fees for documents such as petitions and notices requiring submission to the court.
It is important to be aware of these fees before entering the contested probate process so that the estate can budget and prepare for them. Depending on the complexity of the case and the disputes involved, legal fees may be quite high.
Learning the Ins and Outs of a Contested Will
Take into consideration whether or not you need a contested will, and if so, you should carefully consider your options beforehand as the process can be complicated and costly. With the advice of a competent lawyer, you can make an informed decision about the steps that are best for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, reach out to a lawyer today to help you achieve your wishes.
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