When a loved one passes away, the last thing on your mind is dealing with the will and other arrangements that need to be done.The thing is though, that these are the tasks nobody particularly wants to deal with, but they’re also the tasks that are ultimately the most important for many. Elderly relatives may have made a will with little to no assistance, and in cases such as these, as much as it is painful or difficult to do, sometimes it needs to be contested. But how do you know if this is the right thing to do? How can you be sure that you even have the right to contest your relative’s final wishes. It’s an unenviable situation and one that nobody really wants to find themselves in, for sure. Here are three tips on how to contest a will without losing your sanity.
Seek advice from a professional before you make any decisions
If you suspect that you may need to challenge an estate, it really does make sense to seek as much professional advice as possible. You may feel that your relative’s will has been made in error or that it’s inappropriate, but don’t forget that your own feelings may have a significant impact on this. Losing a loved one is never easy, and suspecting that their will is unfair or incorrect is not a great position to be in. Write down all of your concerns and issues and talk them through with someone who knows what they’re doing and who can give you honest advice on whether or not you have a case. You need someone who is not emotionally involved to be able to give you impartial adice
Be prepared for legal proceedings
It’s never going to be an easy process, but it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into if your lawyer agrees that you can contest a will. The legal process may be completely unknown to you and quite stressful too. Add this on top of grief, and the other necessary practicalities that need to be dealt with and the entire situation can be very distressing for some. Make sure you ask as many questions as you can to ensure you understand the process and that you are ready for what’s required of you. Remember that your lawyer should be able to answer your questions, advise you on the best course of action and keep you informed on the legal processes throughout the entire case.
Be prepared for an emotional challenge
Losing a loved one can be a difficult time. There’s no disputing that at all. But when you believe that their last will and testament needs to be contested things can take a different turn quite quickly. Nobody wants to have the task of challenging a will, and nobody is going to enjoy the process at all. Contesting a will can bring up so many emotions and can affect relationships, so it’s really important you recognise when you may need some extra support. Be prepared for an emotional challenge and surround yourself with people who care, and who understand. Sometimes families can be divided when a will is contested, so it’s always a good idea to keep the channels of communication as open as possible. Remember why you’re contesting the will and stay strong- but don’t feel you cannot call on others for support. Above all, ensure you’re doing this for the right reasons and that you have the best advice available.
This is a collaborative post