If you are a disappointed beneficiary or believe that you have grounds to contest a will, then you may be considering who is entitled to contest probate. Contesting probate is extremely complicated, and you must ensure that you have sufficient grounds on which to base your claim. This guide will help any who believe a will has been unfairly distributed to make a valid contest.
Who Can Contest a Will?
You can contest a will if you are the deceased’s blood relation, if you are a spouse or have been previously married, if you were named as a beneficiary in a previous will, or if you have significant reason to believe that you were promised specific terms by the deceased before their death. You can also contest a will if you are a creditor to whom the estate owed money, or was financially dependent on the deceased and believe that sufficient provision has not been made for you in the will.
What Grounds Can You Contest a Will on?
There are four main legal grounds on which you can contest a will, in which many different circumstances often fit. You can challenge a will if you believe that a part of or the whole of the will has been forged, such as a false signature, or if you think that the will has been made invalid for such reason as there is a new will or the will has not been properly signed. You can also contest the will if you believe that the deceased did not have the mental capacity to sign the will or understand its contents, or if you think that the will is a case of undue influence, where another beneficiary has purposefully poisoned the deceased against another recipient in order to claim more.
How Much Does it Cost to Contest a Will?
The cost of contesting a will largely depend on the individual circumstances of the case. For instance, if the case is resolved after mediation, this case will be much less expensive than if the case goes to court. However, if court proceedings are needed to settle the case, the cost for options such as the legal proceedings and solicitors can be anything above £100,000.
Who Pays to Contest a Will?
Many people believe that the estate in question will meet the costs of court proceedings and solicitors. However, this is not always the case, and there are a few different options in terms of who will have to pay for the case. Who pays the costs of the contest are decided by the judge presiding over the court proceedings, and they are likely to fall into one of two options. If the costs of the contest are found to be caused by the deceased, then the money will come out of the estate. However, the court may decide that the costs will be given to the party that caused them, such as those that started the contest.