Contesting a Will is a delicate and complex process that requires careful assessment and legal expertise. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe the distribution of a deceased person’s assets is unjust or invalid, understanding when to contest and how to proceed is crucial. Rob Greensmith, a litigation lawyer provides information on circumstances that may arise around contesting a Will and when it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a lawyer.
When to Contest a Will?
- Lack of Mental Capacity: If there are concerns about the mental capacity of the deceased when the Will was created, such as signs of dementia or undue influence, contesting the Will may be appropriate.
- Lack of Valid Execution: A Will is invalid if it fails to meet one of five requirements pursuant to prevailing legislation, such as the witnesses to the execution of the Will itself. If there are concerns about the execution of a Will, contesting it may be appropriate.
- Lack of Knowledge and Approval: A person must have knowledge of, and approve of, the content of their Will. They must know that they are signing a Will and approve of its contents. If there are concerns that the testator was not aware of the content of the Will or that there were suspicious circumstances, it may be suitable for it being contested.
- Undue Influence: If there is evidence that the deceased was coerced or unduly influenced by another party when drafting or executing the Will, contesting it becomes a viable option.
- Fraud: Suspicions of forgery, fraud, or the improper execution of the Will are grounds for contesting. This includes situations where the testator’s signature may have been forged.
- Disputes Over Asset Distribution: If there are disagreements among beneficiaries or family members regarding the fair distribution of assets, contesting the Will may be necessary.
When to Contact a Lawyer?
If you suspect grounds of contesting a Will, it’s strongly advisable to consult a lawyer as early as possible. They can assess the situation, advise on the strength of your case, and guide you through the legal process.
Contesting a Will can often be complicated. A lawyer with experience in contentious probate can provide the necessary expertise to guide you through these complexities.
Mediation and Negotiation
An experienced lawyer can advise on Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) methods, such as mediation, to reach a resolution without going through lengthy and costly court proceedings.
If a resolution cannot be reached through negotiation or mediation, a lawyer can help to represent you in court, presenting your case and defending your interests.
How JMP Solicitors can help you?
Contesting a Will is a significant legal undertaking that requires professional guidance. If you believe you have grounds to contest a Will, please contact Rob and his team of experienced solicitors who will be able to provide advice. Call now for a free initial consultation on 01476 565 295 or email firstname.lastname@example.org