Are you thinking about contesting a will?
A will is a legal document that determines who will get all the assets of someone who has passed away.
Since a signed will is valid in the eyes of the law, contesting a will is usually very difficult. However, if you strongly believe that your loved ones will doesn’t accurately reflect their final wishes, it might be worth your time, money and effort to file a lawsuit and contest the will.
To help you get started, we compiled a few steps you’ll need to take first. Keep reading to find out how to contest a will and how to find the legal help you’ll need.
How To Contest A Will
Contesting a will is a long process, but it can be done successfully if you are prepared. Here are four things you need to do to contest a will:
- Figure Out If You Have Standing
Everyone can’t contest a will, so your first step is figuring out if you have standing. Having legal standing to contest a will means that you will personally be affected by the outcome of the lawsuit.
For example, someone with standing might be a beneficiary of a former will but was removed from the final will for an unknown reason.
- File Your Contest Quickly
Time is crucial when contesting a will. The state where the person with the will you are contesting passed away dictates how much time you have, but it could be as short as just a few weeks to make your case.
- Determine Your Grounds to Contest The Will
The next step is determining your grounds for contesting. Unfortunately, you can’t contest a will just because you don’t agree with something, or you think you should’ve gotten more out of the will. There are four legal grounds for contesting a will.
It’s a good idea to seek will litigation assistance and meet with an expert when determining what your grounds to contest are.
- Learn More About The Characteristics of Successful Will Contests
If you’re still not sure if your will contest is going to be successful, it helps to read case studies that are similar to your scenario. Again, it’s certainly not easy to contest a will, but specific patterns pop up in multiple cases. If you notice some of these characteristics, it might give you some confidence to fight for your case.
For example, if the executor lacked the mental capacity to create their will at the time, they signed it. This fact is difficult to prove, but sometimes medical records or other details could show that the person wasn’t in the right state to create a legal will.
Learn More About Wills
Wills are extremely complicated legal documents. Even though you know how to contest a will, before you head to court, you should make sure you have a case and have met with a legal expert. If you’d like more information on wills or any other legal advice, make sure you check out the rest of our website.