Be honest: should you contest a will? In short, it’s worth doing if you know the right way to approach it.
Because with the death of a family member, the last thing on your mind is the will. You have to deal with the grief, the loss, the funeral, and so much more.
If a will does grab your attention, you hope a family member sets something aside for you. But if it’s contrary to what you expect, 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 things like:
- where the money goes to;
- who should take care of children who are under the age of 18.
If there are issues with a Will and a reason to contest it, an inquiry will open. This inquiry is actually known as a 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 testator’s lifetime partner gets nothing due to their being no marriage.
Who Can Contest a Will?
Only a few people can go about contesting a will. The spouse, child, cohabitee (lifetime partner) or another person with an explicit mention 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 testator wasn’t healthy enough or of sound mind to create a Will. Or if they require ’round-the-clock care, for example, when the last Will was made. Certainly then, there is reason to doubt its validity.
Other grounds include a lack of proper execution. It needs a signature, for example, with two formal witnesses. But if their lawyers act as their witness, it could be hard to contest. On the other hand, if there is doubt in the process, an earlier version of the will might become valid.
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 the better. Because there is a time limit to contest a will.
In general, you’ll 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.
So serious is this allegation that fraud is always a reason to contest a Will and thus, has no time limit.
Yet with fraud, 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.