Many people count on their loved one to have an estate plan in place when the loved one passes away. There are some instances in which there is an estate plan in place, but there are problems with it. Some people might realize that there is a reason to challenge the will. This is a very involved process, so it must be considered carefully before anything is done. Unfortunately, you don't have much time to think about this since contesting a will is a time-sensitive matter.
Ensure that you understand some basic points about contesting a will so that you can make an informed decision. There are many more aspects of these cases than just the legal ones.
Legal standing for a contest
Not just anyone can contest a will. Only those who have a vested interest in the estate can do so. Anyone who was named in a previous will and those who would have inherited something if there wasn't a will can challenge it.
On top of being legally able to contest the will, you have to ensure that there is a valid reason to contest it. This has to be something like the person was being coerced or wasn't in their right mind when they wrote the will. It can also occur if there is another will that trumps the one that is being questioned.
Around 99 percent of wills go through probate without any problems. One reason might be because people don't want to deal with the non-legal issues that can come with these cases.
Emotional toll of will contests
Challenging a will can pit family members against each other. This can take an emotional toll on you, especially if your family is a close-knit one. There are times when the family will remain divided long after the matter is resolved.
Many of these cases are handled through a settlement process. Since contesting a will is expensive, the parties involved will likely decide to work out a mutually agreeable deal so that they can get it over with as quickly as possible. This can minimize the cost, but it isn't always possible.
If you think that there is a problem with your loved one's will, make sure you evaluate the situation thoroughly. Contesting the will is a big step that you must be fully prepared to handle before you act.