Contesting a will? What You Need to Know First

Contesting a will? What You Need to Know First

October 15, 2017

The contesting of a will is a special type of lawsuit, in which one wishes to invalidate a deceased persons Last Will and Testament. It may be because you don’t believe the will has properly reflected that person’s final wishes, but whatever the reasons here are the things you need to consider first!

First, You Must Determine if You Even Legally Able to Contest the Will

Before you make any moves or any progress towards contesting a will, you need to first consult with a professional lawyer in order to determine if you have a legal standing in which you can contest. It is important to note, not everyone can contest a will. Legally, standing to contest a will means that the party must be personally affected by the outcome, such as an intestate heir or a beneficiary named in a prior will. If you don’t have standing, then you won’t be able to contest the will.

Second, You Must File the Will Contest Within the Time Limit

Most national and/or state laws will have regulations in place dictating the time limit for filing a will contest. Once you have determined legal standing, you must file within a timely manner, or else you are barred from contesting a will. This time limit is in place so that final expense and transfers can be expedited, otherwise an estate transfer would never be completed for fear of will contest.

Third, Determine If You have Enough Evidence to Contest a Will

Despite you having the legal standing of time to do so, you must determine if you also have sufficient grounds in which to contest the will. Sufficient grounds can be an informal signature, a failing mental capacity of the decedent, an unduly influenced will or fraud. Keep in mind, proving one of these can be extremely difficult, so before you file you will contest you must ensure that you have the evidence to back it up. It is recommended that you speak with a professional lawyer about your plans to contest a will, they can go through the legalities with you and help determine standing, timeframe and grounds.

Radich Lawyer can assist you with all of the legalities involved in contesting a will. Give our Gold Coast office a call to discuss your will dispute with our professional will and estate lawyer, Nicholas Radich.