Contesting a will costs 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. It will prepare you for every possible eventuality.
Contesting a Will Costs
When considering the cost of a probate dispute, you must understand that any form of court litigation can be expensive. Challenging probate is no exception. In fact, the costs are often extremely extensive due to the length and nature of the working process. It could be amplified by whether the parties are open to negotiations. Negotiation, by nature, keeps expenses down by avoiding court, seeking the availability of evidence, and the number of beneficiaries the case involves.
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 is the judge’s decision when the case goes to trial. Furthermore, they will also decide the amount that each party will pay the other. Not to mention how much the successful parties will claim from the testator’s estate.
How Much Are Contesting a Will Costs?
Although it is difficult to predict the exact amount, costs can be incredibly high. In short, 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 in the negotiation phase of proceedings.
If you believe you’ll struggle to pay the expenses, you can apply for legal aid or legal loans. There are also options such 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 face contesting a will costs. Although the unsuccessful party pays the winning beneficiary’s costs, money from the estate sometimes covers legal expenses. This is the case if the testator is the cause of the court challenge. In these cases, the estate effectively balances the costs of contesting the will.
However, if the will faces investigation, the party that creates them might pay them. If these two exceptions don’t stand, the probate challenger pays the legal costs. Please know that these may exceed the value of the estate.
With more families going to court over inheritance, understand that legal battle costs 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.