What Happens If A Family Member Contests A Will?

What Happens If A Family Member Contests A Will?

What if a family member contests a Will? This is a question that many people have when they are creating their Will. While it is not an easy question to answer, there are some things that you should know if this happens.

Content

1. Introduction
2. Reasons for contesting a Will
3. What are the grounds for contesting a Will?
4. What is the process for contesting a Will?
5. What are the consequences of contesting a Will?
6. What are the risks of contesting a Will?
7. Conclusion

Introduction

If a family member thinks that the Will is not valid, or does not accurately reflect the wishes of the deceased, they may contest the Will. Contesting a Will can be a long and complicated process, so it is important to seek legal advice if you are considering taking this step.

Reasons for contesting a Will

There are a few reasons why someone might contest a Will. The most common reason is that the person believes that the Will is not valid. This could be because the person believes that the Will was not properly signed or witnessed, or because they think that the person who made the Will was not of sound mind when they did so.

Another common reason for contesting a Will is that the person believes that it does not accurately reflect the wishes of the deceased. This could be because the person believes that the Will was not properly written, or because they think that it was changed after the person died.

If you are considering contesting a Will, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. The process can be complex and time-consuming, and you will need to be sure that you have a strong case before you proceed.

What are the grounds for contesting a Will?

The grounds for contesting a Will are set out in the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The most common grounds for contesting a Will are that the person was not of sound mind when they made the Will, or that they did not understand what they were doing. Other grounds include that the Will was not properly signed or witnessed, or that it was changed after the person died.

What is the process for contesting a Will?

If you want to contest a Will, you will need to make an application to the court. The first step is to get permission from the court to proceed with your case. This is called ‘leave’. You will need to show the court that you have a good reason for contesting the Will, and that you are likely to win your case.

If you are given leave to proceed, the next step is to file your claim with the court. This is called a ‘caveat’. The court will then send a notice to the executor of the Will, informing them of your claim. The executor has 21 days to respond to the notice.

If the executor does not respond, or if they agree with your claim, the Will can be set aside and a new Will can be made. If the executor does not agree with your claim, they can choose to defend the Will. This means that they will need to present evidence to the court to show that the Will is valid.

If the court decides that the Will is valid, it will be ‘probated’ and can be used to distribute the deceased person’s estate. If the court decides that the Will is not valid, it will be ‘set aside’ and a new Will can be made.

What are the consequences of contesting a Will?

The consequences of contesting a Will can be significant. Firstly, it can be a long and complex process, which can take many months or even years to resolve. Secondly, it can be expensive, as you will need to pay for legal advice and representation. Thirdly, there is no guarantee that you will win your case, and if you do not, you may end up owing the executor of the Will money.

What are the risks of contesting a Will?

The risks of contesting a Will include the risk of losing your case and owing money to the executor of the Will. You should also be aware that contesting a Will can be a long and complex process, which can take many months or even years to resolve. Finally, you should be aware that if you win your case, the Will may be set aside and a new Will may be made, which could mean that you receive less than you would have under the original Will.

Conclusion

Contesting a Will can be a long and complicated process, so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you are considering doing so. There is no guarantee that you will win your case, and if you do not, you could end up owing the executor of the Will money. You should also be aware that if you win your case, the original Will may be set aside and a new Will may be made, which could mean that you receive less than you would have under the original Will.

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