After a loved one dies, the last thing on your mind is the will. You have to deal with the grief, the loss, the funeral, and so much more. When the will does finally grab your attention, your hope is often that your loved one set something aside for you. If the will sounds completely contrary to what you believed it would be, however, you might want to consider contesting it.
What is a Will?
A last will and testament is the only way a person can explicitly state how they wish their estate to be given away at the time of their death. It could explain where money goes to, who should take care of children who are under the age of 18, and so on.
If there are issues with the will and a reason to contest it, an inquiry will be opened. This inquiry is referred to as probate.
The reason why wills are so important is that, if there is no will, it is the government that decides who gets what. This can mean adult children get nothing and the spouse gets everything, or it could mean that the deceased’s lifetime partner gets nothing because they were never married.
Who Can Contest a Will?
Only a few people can go about contesting a will. The spouse, child, cohabitee (lifetime partner) or other person who has been explicitly mentioned in the will can go about learning how to contest a will and make a case.
On What Grounds Can You Contest a Will?
There are four main grounds under which you can appeal a will. Perhaps you believe that the deceased was not healthy enough or sound of mind to create a will. If they have dementia and needed around-the-clock care, for example, at the time the last will was made, then there is reason to doubt its validity.
Other grounds include a lack of proper execution. It must be signed, for example, with two formal witnesses. If their lawyers acted as their witness, it could be hard to contest, but if there is doubt in the process an earlier version of the will might be used instead.
Of course, suspected fraud or coercion is always a reason to contest a will. These are fraudulent activities, though they can be difficult to prove.
What is the Time Limit?
When it comes to contesting a will, the sooner is better as there is a time limit to contest a will. Generally speaking, you will have six months to contest a will. The only real example of when you don’t need to challenge a will within six months is if you gain evidence of fraud. Fraud is always a reason to contest a will, and has no time limit. That being said, if fraud was committed you generally want to contest the will before the recipient and perpetrator spends your inheritance. This can only be done if you have proof.
How Can you Contest a Will?
You can contest a will easily with the right grounds, evidence, and help from contentious probate solicitors for cases such as yours. To contest a will today, get in touch with us and we will work out the likelihood your case has of winning.