Though one of the worst-case scenarios when a loved one dies is that they leave you without a Will, the opposite can be just as problematic. When there are many Wills left by the testator, how do you choose which one is valid? Indeed, conflicting wills present a myriad of conflicts and confusion.
Why Would Your Family Member Even Have Conflicting Wills?
Your family member could have multiple Wills for a few reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Execution of New Will.
There are a few reasons why they would execute a new will. For example, to simply create a more comprehensive and easy-to-understand document. Especially if their previous Will contains too many revisions.
With Conflicting Wills, Which Will Is Valid?
In most cases with conflicting wills, the valid Will is often the most recent one. If there is any issue, the matter might be resolved in what is known as Probate Court. Once the Court declares this Will valid, that Will becomes the “last Will and Testament.” In turn, they revoke all previous Wills and revisions.
If there are challenges to this will they will need to be made before the Probate Court’s final decision. Some valid reasons for contesting the use of the final version of the Will include the following.
- There exists a belief that the Will is a forgery. In a similar vein, the Will was written under coercion/undue influence.
- Another good reason is that there’s a suspicion of the validity of the Will itself.
- The testator (i.e. the family member who subsequently dies) updates their Will when not in the right mind. For example, if they have Dementia.
It’s difficult to prove the latest Will version was made either under false pretences or in unsound mind. It is up to you or your lawyer to compile the necessary evidence in advance to help you win your case.
When Happens if There Are Challenges to This Will?
What happens when you contest a Will is that it will go to court. If you need help with challenging a Will UK, it is always best to seek out legal advice first. Going in without a reasonable chance of winning could result in a huge personal financial loss.
Choose instead to find solicitors who offer a contesting a will No Win, No Fee service. Accordingly, you can ensure you have a good case against the latest Will and can win.
How Can You Avoid This Confusion?
A good way to help family members avoid such confusion and trauma through an estate is to destroy all previous versions. You can also write “Void” on them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be of use to contest your last Will and Testament.
Therefore, it’s best to avoid the situation entirely by removing previous Wills from the equation. If your family members do contest your final Will, they will need to take it up with the courts and prove not just their relationship, but their dependency on your financials.
By removing all other Will revisions from the equation, however, you change the game. Moreover, you should be able to safely and successfully have your wishes brought to fruition.