If a loved one has recently passed, or may pass soon, you may be in the unfortunate position of needing to dispute their will. This may be because the will has not been updated in a long time and no longer matches what your loved one wanted at the end of their life, or perhaps the will was made under some kind of manipulation or duress by another party. Regardless, if you need to dispute a will, there’s some things that you should know.
Disputing a will can be complex and that is why you need as much help as you can get. However, disputing a will is far more common today than most heirs, successors, and beneficiaries can imagine. In fact, nearly all states require that a testator give a legal opportunity to anyone who wants to contest the will before it becomes final. When this happens, there is usually a very short period for an individual or group to contest the document. In many cases, individuals and groups only have two or three days to do anything in order to challenge the document. If they are unsuccessful, they lose the right to pursue legal action against the will. Below are some of the things you should do if you have to dispute a will:
1. Look for a Free Consultation
One of the best ways that you can get information about what is involved in disputing a will is to go online. There are many different companies that will give you a free consultation and if you are interested in talking to someone about your situation, they will be happy to give you some advice on how this process can be handled for you. They can help you dispute a will by helping you to understand everything that is involved in this process and make sure that you have a will made with information that is accurate and up to date. The problem that many people face with this process is that it can take quite a bit of time and they may not have enough time to find a lawyer who can work to help them with this process.
2. File a Petition with the Court
The first option for disputing a will once your loved one has passed is to file a petition for a judicial review with the court. The state’s Probate Court is the appropriate place to file this type of petition. This petition will have to be filed before the probate judge is expected to make a final decision on the matter, but many probate judges will still take the time to review the petition. In addition, this petition will have to be filed within a year of the date of death. You can also hire an attorney to file this petition on your behalf. Many attorneys will waive their fees for filing this petition in most cases.
3. Find an Attorney
Some people just don’t have the time to make all the decisions that a will would require, so there are ways in which a deceased person’s family can legally settle any disputes that may arise from their demise. If there is an issue between the relatives of a deceased person and the executor or any other party to the will, they must contact an attorney who specializes in this area of the law. This way, they can review the will and get their questions answered. They can then go to court if they feel like the decision was wrong or unfair. If no resolution is reached, the family can file a legal action to recover any assets that they think are rightfully theirs. They also have the right to contest how much the deceased person had or did receive.
4. Learn About Probate Court
It is also a good idea to talk to your attorney about any issues relating to probate court when you start your search for how to dispute a will. Probate court is a complicated area of law and you’ll want to be as prepared as possible. Your lawyer will be able to give you a list of things to think about when filing for your estate. You may also need to consider how much you will be able to afford to spend on the estate if you file a dispute in probate court. This will help you determine how much money you need to work with. It’s also important to talk to your attorney about any other financial obligations that you may have, including mortgage payments, car payments and child support. Your lawyer can also help you decide how you should handle a mortgage, such as whether you will try to sell your house or pay off the mortgage.
5. Find Out If There’s Any Other Wills
The most important thing to do is to find out if there are any other wills in the name of your loved one. You will need to get copies of all of the wills so that you can compare them. If you do find that there are other wills, you might have an option to challenge those wills in probate court. This will ensure that your estate goes through as smoothly as possible. Also, you might be able to make the person or organization that made the will pay you a little extra money to cover their legal fees.
Hopefully you have learned some things about how to dispute a will from this article. Remember, this is something that you should never take lightly, and it is a process that requires patience and careful planning on your part. It is not going to go away easily, and it might take a while before you get what you are after. This process is completely legal, so don’t worry about this being hard for you to accomplish. There are many resources available to you, both on the Internet and off. Once you understand the basics, you should have a pretty good idea of what you want to do next.