Contesting Wills is where a beneficiary is contesting the Will. A legal document that gives relevant information about the deceased person’s property is called the final Will. When some actions occur against the invalidation of the final Will then a contestation of the Will occurs. The decision to contest a Will is one tough decision to be made. This happens mainly because people believe they have been ignored or the deceased wishes have been misinterpreted.
General facts before Contesting Wills that are covered in this article are as follow:
- Litigation Costs
- Immediate Decision-making power
- The timeframe for Contesting Wills
- Who can contest a Will
- Grounds to Contest the Will.
1. Litigation Costs
There is a lot of cost for the litigation process. The cost for Contesting Wills directly depends on the nature of the dispute. There are many factors because of which the costs increases or decreases. It can be the total number of parties involved the willingness to negotiate with the parties and evidence availability. In most of the cases, the clients are unable to pay the fees. The client asks for a case relying on the basis of contingency. The fee is equal to the one-third part of the total amount that you will receive. The lawyer will receive the payment only when you will get the amount.
To fit every case, there is a range of funding options as follows:
- Damages Based Agreement- No Win No Fee
- Delayed fee basis
- Stable fee
· Damages Based Agreement – No Win No Fee
In this kind of funding options, the fee is paid only when the client wins the case. The damages that will be recovered in the end will be used for fee payment. After winning the case of Contesting Wills, the fee will be paid by the client‘s opponent or from the estate money. If the client loses, he will not pay any fees.
· Delayed fee basis
In this scenario until the completion of the case, the fees will be delayed or postponed.
· Stable fee
For the provision of an initial statement or the case handling, this kind of fee fixation occurs in the beginning.
It is really appreciable that all the costs are subjected to the decision of Court. Before the costs are finalized, the Court considers the conduct and involvement of all parties.
2. Immediate decision-making power
The attorney will start making the strategy for Contesting Wills after you hire them. You are directed to file the lawsuit in order to be the first one to be present at the courthouse. With a plea for information regarding the person you are going to sue, your lawyer will give the recommendation to send a letter to the lawyer of another party. You may take a decision to file a case depending on the information you receive or not. In most of the cases, you will have a very limited time. If you are unable to file the case within that time frame, you will be reserved out from taking any action. Hence, it is of utmost importance to consult a lawyer right after the death.
3. The timeframe for Contesting Wills
Having an understanding on Contesting Wills, you should file the case within a reasonable time frame. The time for filing a case can be varied from filing it within few weeks to few years. Fast payment of resources such as property transfer or the payment for the expenses is made because limited time is provided. It is because of the reason that the Will can be contested later in the future for not completely dividing the estate. On which basis a will can be contested and within the typo of time frame is all given in the Limitation Act of 1980.
It is advised by the law specialists to take the legal advice the soonest and before the issuance of probate. After the Executor is granted the probate, they will have all the authority to array the assets as per the instructions are given in the Will.
Those who want to claim under the Act of Inheritance will have to that within the time limit of 6 months after the probate has been granted. But if the person who thinks has a significant share in the estate and is the recipient of the land, then he will have the time of twelve years from the death of the testator. For fraud cases, there is no specific time limit.
4. Who Can Contest A Will?
Who can “contest a Will?” is the most frequently asked question. Here is the list of people who can be involved in Contesting Wills:
- Bloodline relatives-Family members
- A financially dependent person on the deceased
- Under an earlier will beneficiary
- Under final will beneficiary
- Debt claims
- Deceased has promised something to someone
5. Grounds to Contest the Will
In a range of contested probate situations, it needs to perform frequently for Trustees, unhappy family affiliates, and Executors. Contesting Wills is a very complicated area, and the number of legal trials to Wills can be insufficient. All the information you need to decide whether or not to pursue a claim are mentioned below.
The four grounds to contest a Will are as follow:
- Against the legal formalities or deformed signature;
- Lack of the mental capacity of deceased to make a Will
- A lot of pressure on the deceased to make a Will,
- Fraud procured will.
However, it is challenging to prove any of the above one. So for the proof, you have to undergo and look over the pieces of evidence you have with you. You should consult a probate attorney who is specialized in litigation matters. The attorney will decide the pieces of evidence provided by you are suitable or not.
Besides that, you should have the proof regarding the invalidation of the Will. The law believes in the validity of the Will. It will be a difficult task for you to prove it wrong. So you have to prove that the person was either suffering from any disease while he was compiling the Will. You will have to give all the medical histories that will prove the fact. The Will can be proved wrong if the deceased was under the pressure of someone and was forced to change the Will.
6. Legal Advice
The things which needs to be considered before contesting Wills are of utmost importance. Obtaining a copy of Will is very significant for the protection of the assets. It will prevent from issuing probate. After the probate has been issued, it will be hard to contest a Will.
Even with the departed being a close family member, the executors are not permitted to disclose a copy of the Will. Where there is an absence of legal entitlement, the resolving of amicable and quick disputes, operations of clear protocols encourage parties for the disclosing the documents. The sensible instruction is to tell the attorney if there is any inclination to contest a Will.
For the revealing of Will, a precise legal message is directed to the executor as a warning. If the failure to show the Will occurs then he will have to experience the legal action and will be reserved for contemplation of Court. A caveat will be given against the executor for the reveal of a copy. For exploring the legal choices for the authentication of the Wills that were shaped by the deceased and courts will invalidate that.
You should hire some skilled attorney to distinguish the legal possibilities. On the other hand, if you fit the Executor side where somebody has challenged the will, you can also connect with the law firm for that. In whole or part, a will can be invalidated. The circuit or probate judge has the options to cancel the will, issuing property or resonating previous version of the Will under intestacy laws.
Anybody who modifies or alter the wills is eventually disowned from the assets. The most important factors while Contesting Wills are the time limits, litigation costs, and immediate actions. You have to respond according to the circumstances of every scenario. Every case has its own time limits. You can get all the conceivable strategies from the legal advisor. Always ask the skilled professionals before undergoing any legal actions regarding Contesting Wills.
The above mentioned points related to the Contesting Wills can provide you sufficient information. The remaining you can get from a legal attorney. Always keep in mind to seek the advice before granting of probate. A special legal advisor can provide you all the guidelines and suitable measures for your case that can make the whole process easier for you.