The decision to dispute a will often isn’t taken lightly. If, however, you believe the will doesn’t accurately reflect the deceased’s wishes, or you feel the testator has unfairly treated you, you may feel you have no other choice but to contest it.
However, there are numerous pros and cons for disputing a will, which you should be aware of before you get started. Read the following three implications of contesting a will so that you can make an informed decision.
- Potential Family Conflict
It is likely emotions will be heightened following the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, will disputes can ultimately cause further upset between family members when they’re already experiencing feelings of intense sadness and anger.
If you decide to contest a will, it’s possible one or more family members might disagree with your decision. Unfortunately, contesting a will could lead to anger, upset and resentment between relatives, who might question your actions and motives, even if you are entitled to assets from the deceased’s estate.
It is therefore important you’re prepared for potential family conflict when contesting a will. However, it’s also possible your loved ones will agree you have not received your fair share of the testator’s estate and they might be willing to negotiate an agreement.
However, while anyone can challenge a will, few people have a right to contest it.
Can you contest a will? You can if:
- You’re a blood relation
- You’re the testator’s partner
- You have been named as a beneficiary in an earlier will
- You’re a creditor owed repayments by an estate
- You relied on the testator for financial support
- You were promised an item by the deceased
- A Loss of Fees
Unless you choose to contest a will on a no win no fee basis, it’s possible you will need to pay various legal fees. It is essential to weigh the pros against the cons to make an informed choice. However, if possible, aim to contest a will on a no win no fee basis, which will ensure you will not need to pay a penny if you should lose a case.
- Additional Personal Heartache
It’s likely you will be attempting to come to terms with the recent loss of a loved one and might be struggling with grief. Unfortunately, you do not have much time to wait when contesting a will, as it’s beneficial to do so before the executors receive a grant of probate and are free to dispose of the testator’s assets.
Sadly, a will dispute could add additional stress and heartache during this upsetting time. You’ll need to assess whether the personal or financial value of the assets is worth anyfurther upset.
If you believe you have been unfairly treated in a loved one’s will, you may have a right to contest it. However, ensure you weigh up the possible implications mentioned above to make a decision that is right for your needs.