6 Reasons To Contest A Will

In the days following the death of a loved one, contesting their final wishes might feel like the last thing you want to do. But there are a limited number of occasions where disputing a will is a necessary and unavoidable reality. Here are six reasons why you may need to embark on this process.

last will

1. The Will Was Invalid

A will can be invalid for a series of reasons: it was not signed, dated or witnessed correctly, there is a subsequent will in existence, or the wording and any additional documents render the will ambiguous. In the event of ambiguity, the executor of the estate or person with interest in the estate may call upon the courts to clarify the wishes of the deceased. It is imperative wills are clearly written documents and any subsequent additions do not contradict previous provisions.

2. Insufficient Mental Capacity Or Duress

You may also feel a person was under duress or not in their usual mental state when a will was drawn up. In these instances, it’s wise to seek advice from professionals such as The Will Dispute Lawyers to ascertain the best course of action to follow.

3. You’ve Been Omitted

Members of the immediate family of the deceased, including dependants, stepchildren, and former or current spouses, can on occasion find themselves omitted from a will for any number of reasons that may not be deliberate. You might have married the deceased or been born after an initial will was drafted, or a subsequent document has not been located. Any person who can show the deceased had a moral duty to provide for them has grounds to challenge a will.

4. You’ve Been Unfairly Treated

There are a number of situations where you may feel you have been unfairly treated as the beneficiary of a will or estate – from property that you may believe you have an entitlement to, to financial provisions that the deceased should have ‘morally’ provided. Family members or those who share a close personal relationship with the will maker can contest a will in the event they face undue financial hardship.

5. The Executor Failed In Their Duties

If you believe the executor of a will is not carrying out their duties in accordance with the written wishes of the deceased, you also have grounds to contest the will. In such a case, enrolling the services of a legal firm can be particularly helpful.

6. Tampering

Any fraudulent activity that may impact a will, including post-dating, additions, fraudulently signing a document or tampering, is clear grounds to contest a will.

Contesting a will is no small matter and should not be considered lightly. Courts take the wishes of the deceased extremely seriously and will only consider alterations in certain circumstances. It’s also important to note varying time periods apply for how late you can lodge any challenge to a will. However, if you feel you have grounds to dispute the way an estate is being handled, seek legal advice to ascertain your options.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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