Contesting a will can put a financial strain on families and the beneficiaries choosing to contest the will. Therefore, it is essential to understand the costs involved in challenging a will before you decide to proceed, as this will mean that you will be more prepared for every eventuality possible.
Cost of Contesting a Will
When considering the cost of probate dispute, you must understand that any form of court litigation can be expensive, and challenging probate is no exception. In fact, the costs are often extremely extensive due to the length of the process and the nature of the work involved in the process. It could be amplified by whether the parties are open to negotiations, as this will keep down the expense of going to court, whether evidence is available, and the number of beneficiaries involved in the case. Expenses can range from the cost of lawyers and solicitors, court costs, the need for disbursements such as medical records and fees of a handwriting expert and other personnel. Who pays the costs of the court and other legalities will be decided by the judge when the case goes to trial, and they will also decide the amount that each party will pay the other, as well as how much the successful parties will claim from the testator’s estate.
How Much Does it Cost to Contest a Will?
Although it is difficult to predict an exact amount, costs can be incredibly high, and the largest even equal the value of the entire estate if the legal battle is particularly lengthy. The costs also increase if the case goes to court rather than being established in the negotiation phase of proceedings. If you believe you will struggle to pay the expenses, you can apply for legal aid or legal loans, as well as Legal Expenses Insurance. Many solicitors will also have no win, no fee arrangements in place to protect you in the event of an unsuccessful case.
Who Pays to Contest a Will?
In these cases, the losing party may be forced to pay the costs of the legal battle. Although the unsuccessful party will pay the costs of the winning beneficiary, money may be borne from the estate to pay for the legal expenses. This is the case if the testator has been the cause of the court challenge, and, in these cases, the costs will be balanced by the estate. However, if an investigation is made into the will, the costs could be paid by the party that created them. If these two exceptions do not stand, the party that has challenged the probate will pay the legal costs, and these may exceed the value of the estate.
With more families going to court over inheritance, it is essential to understand the costs of legal battles are extremely extensive and unpredictable. The nature of probate challenges ensures that the cost of bringing a will to court is extremely variable and depends on a number of factors, such as whether the testator is at fault, who is the unsuccessful party and whether your case reached court after negotiations. However, with this guide, you will be able to predict adverse financial situations and assess the risks accordingly.