A lot of different things have to be done when a loved one passes away. One of these tasks has to do with handling their estate. The majority of these situations will go forward without any issues; however, things might get rather complex if someone has reason to believe that the will or other components of the estate plan are unfair or incorrect.
Dealing with an estate plan that isn’t set how you think it should be or how you were told it was can be difficult. Your loved one’s wishes must be followed, but you also have to ensure that what’s relayed was actually what they wanted. Trying to figure out how to move forward can be challenging.
Family dynamics matter
When a family member challenges a will, the rest of the loved ones will have to wait to get what’s due to them, and they might get less of the estate because of the cost to litigate a dispute. This can cause a big rift in the family, so you should think about this before you decide what you’re going to do. Sometimes, the assets that you’d get are enough that you’d be willing to do this. You might end up pushing your family away just because you want to make sure that the decedent’s wishes were followed.
Valid reasons to contest
Before you make the decision to do anything about the will or estate plan, you need to ensure that you have a valid reason to contest and that you are someone who legally can take this action. Typically, you have to be named in the will or a previous version of it, or you need to be a person would get part of the estate due to the intestate laws in the state. If none of these apply to you, it likely isn’t possible for you to do anything about the estate plan’s contents.
Reasons to contest include the person creating the document under duress or the person not being in their right mind when it was created. Other reasons might also exist, but remember you’re going to have to prove whatever you claim so think carefully about this when you make your plan.
If you think that you need to move forward with a will challenge, you need to work with someone who will protect your interests. They need to understand the purpose of the claim and help you to work toward that.