How to Dispute the Terms of a Deceased Estate

Law Blog

Dealing with an estate can be a time-consuming and stressful experience, particularly if there are complications involved. In the event of a loved one passing away, the process of administering their estate can be further complicated if certain individuals wish to dispute the terms of the will. It is essential to have a good understanding of the legal considerations so that you can approach the situation most effectively, so what do you need to know?

Step 1: Gather Evidence

Before disputing the terms of the will, it is important to gather any evidence that may be relevant to your claim. This can include things like letters, emails, and other forms of communication between you and the deceased. Additionally, if you have any evidence that suggests that the deceased was mentally unstable at the time of making the will or did not understand the contents of the will, this is crucial to support your argument.

Step 2: Seek Legal Advice

Disputing the terms of a will can be a complex legal process, particularly if you are at odds with other beneficiaries or the executor. It is, therefore, essential to seek legal advice from a qualified and experienced legal professional who can advise you on the best approach to take. They can provide guidance on the relevant laws and procedures, as well as advise you on the possible outcomes of your dispute.

Step 3: Consider Mediation

In some cases, it may be possible to resolve your dispute through mediation rather than through the courts. Mediation involves a neutral third party who seeks to facilitate a conversation between the parties involved and find a mutually satisfactory outcome. This can be a useful approach if you wish to avoid the expense and time of a court case and maintain relationships with other family members.

Step 4: Apply to the Court

If mediation is unsuccessful, you may wish to apply to the court to dispute the terms of the will formally. This involves filing legal documents, serving notice on parties involved, and submitting evidence supporting your claim. The court will then make a decision based on the evidence presented and decide whether to vary or revoke the deceased's will.

Step 5: Be Prepared for the Outcome

Regardless of the outcome of your dispute, it is crucial to be prepared for the decision of the court. It may not always be possible to achieve the desired outcome, so it is essential to approach the process with an open mind and be ready to accept the court's decision. You may also wish to consider other ways to resolve the dispute, such as appealing the decision or seeking the opinion of a forensic accountant.

Your Next Step

Disputing the terms of a deceased estate can be a challenging and stressful experience, but with the right approach and support, it is possible to achieve a satisfactory outcome. But still, the entire process can be quite difficult to navigate by yourself, so you should always bring in an experienced lawyer from the outset.

For more information on deceased estate terms, contact a professional near you.


23 May 2023

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