How To Contest A Will

If the division of estates was a simple process, there wouldn't be a need to write wills in the first place. However, the truth of the matter is that deciding who gets what in the event of one's passing is as challenging today as it was in the past.

When you're a beneficiary in the will or supposed to be one, the advantage we have today is it's easier to contest a will if you have grounds to do so. How can you go about this successfully?

Establish the Grounds on Which You'll Contest the Will

You can't successfully contest a will simply because you feel that you got less than you deserved. There are certain reasons that are legally acceptable when it comes to contesting wills. These include:

  • The deceased was being unduly influenced

  • The will wasn't validly executed

  • The will was forged or obtained through fraudulent means

  • There is another will that supersedes the one you're contesting

  • The will doesn't adequately provide for a dependent e.g. a spouse or child

When you have a solid ground for contesting the will, you have a much better chance of winning the challenge. In some cases, the result of the contest won't be invalidation of the will but a simple redistribution of assets.

Gather the Evidence Needed

As with any court case, you'll need to prove that your reason for contesting the will is factual. This means that you'll need to provide some form of evidence. If you're an illegitimate child and you want to prove that you're the child of the deceased, you'll have an easier time than someone trying to prove undue influence. Many of these claims are difficult to prove which is why you should know what evidence you'll need to present to sway the judge.

Hire an Attorney

Contesting a will is difficult enough as it is. An overwhelming majority of wills go through the probate process as they are. If you wish to be successful in your application, you'll need all the help you can get. Since this is an area that demands legal expertise, you'll want a legal expert in your corner.

An estate attorney can make a huge difference in the case. An attorney can even tell you if your case is unlikely to win and save you the time and money. Thanks to their experience, attorneys can help you to prepare for the case and increase the odds of winning.

For more information, reach out to family law lawyers like Marlene Dancer Adams.