Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Contest a Will
If a loved one has passed on, one of the things that concern their spouse or next of kin is their will. There are many cases where spouses and family members successfully contest a will. If you are looking to contest a will, here are some of the questions you should ask your wills and estate lawyer.
Are You Eligible To Apply?
To be eligible to contest a will, you must have been in a relationship with the deceased. Claimants are usually de facto spouses, spouses and children. Ask your lawyer about your eligibility.
The categories of eligible people can go from close relatives to people who were depending or living in the same household with the deceased. However, eligibility is open to interpretation and may vary depending on the circumstances of your case. Your lawyer will be able to determine your eligibility based on your specific case.
What About Probate?
In many cases, you need to file for probate before contesting a will. Grant of probate is simply proof that the deceased is dead. Probate documents mainly include an inventory of assets, will and a death certificate. Ask your lawyer about the probate requirements for your case.
Probate documents are public records that you can request from the Supreme Court. Your attorney will be able to secure these documents on your behalf. However, you need to ask about the cost of securing these probate documents.
What Does The Court Consider?
When making a ruling on a contested will, there are several things that the court will consider. First, the court will look at the deceased will and the evidence of their reasons for making the will. For example, the court will consider evidence such as the deceased's obligations and mental state.
The court will also consider the nature and size of the deceased's estate. This includes their assets and liabilities. Your lawyer will be able to obtain this information before building a case for you. Based on this information, your wills and estates lawyer will be in a position to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
Contesting a will is a lengthy process that requires a number of checks and balances. With an attorney by your side, it's easier to do everything than doing it on your own. Make sure you thoroughly choose a lawyer who is located near you and who is experienced in contesting wills to increase your chances of success.