There are a lot of very good reasons to contest a family member’s will — particularly when you believe that the will doesn’t reflect what the deceased actually wanted. Nothing you’re about to read takes away from that fact.
Just the same, you do need to step into this process carefully if you intend to take legal action. Here’s what you need to consider before you get started:
1. Time is of the essence, so you have to act quickly.
You don’t have a lot of time to think about your options. Once the will has been probated and the assets dispersed, it could be impossible to get back your rightful share. You have to be decisive and willing to work with your attorney right away.
2. This can ruin your relationships with your family.
Experts say that you need to expect everything from tears and fights to outright lies and manipulation from the other people who have a stake in the situation. Your relationship with some of them may not withstand this dispute.
3. It may be an expensive process with no guarantee of a win.
If you’re fighting for a lot of money — or you have a lot of money to bring to the fight — this may not be an issue. It’s still important to remember that contesting a will doesn’t work the same as filing a personal injury claim.
4. Your best option may be to settle out of court.
Most estate disputes will eventually settle without a trial — and that’s probably for the best. Make sure that you have a clear goal in mind so that you negotiate from a position of strength from the very start.
If you want to contest a will, call our office for more information or continue reading about the process on our site.