Contesting a Will Is Not Always About Greed
Everyone has seen Hollywood's version of people that argue over the contents of a will. There are certainly some occasions when family members contest wills out of greed or spite against their relations. However, it is not always as simple as that in real life. There are many reasons why the disbursement of a final estate is challenged. Sometimes the decision to do so is obvious and the individuals involved will instantly hire an attorney. In many other situations, people are hesitant. Here are some tips to help make the decision easier.
When it seems suspicious.
Questions abound when the wording of the will seems incorrect, the signature is odd, and the method of property division is unbalanced. Online and personally prepared wills are legally binding if they are genuine, but it is very easy for a dishonest person to fabricate a will in order to benefit themselves. Consider contacting a lawyer if the will does not have the professional quality it should or there is something strange about who is named as beneficiary.
When it is outdated.
The birth of a child is often the first time people really acknowledge their mortality. This is why many wills are written at this point. Of course, life changes, and fortunes change too. This means that a will is often updated to include new property or heirs. It is good to challenge the will and look for something more current if a will neglects to mention specific people that came along, through birth or marriage, after a specific date.
When someone seems to have exerted undue influence.
Sometimes family members or caretakers take advantage of elderly individuals to gain control of their property. Their is certainly nothing wrong with someone changing their will to include the person that cared for them as their health declined. The problem arises when those changes are made due to threats or constant badgering. Ask some questions if the deceased did not seem to trust or want someone around and still provided that person with a generous inheritance.
When the will is written after a person was diagnosed with dementia.
Dementia is a devastating diagnosis for everyone in the family. Unfortunately, it becomes a great opportunity for people that are dishonest. Any changes made to a will after someone has become unable to care for themselves properly or has long periods of unclear thought should be contested.
In many instances wills are contested simply because the wording is ambiguous, and the family members all believe their loved one wanted something different. A probate lawyer is the best way to avoid all of this. Their assistance with will preparation makes it very easy to avoid any questions about intention or legality while a will is prepared. They also assist when controversy strikes after someone passes away. They help with mediation or with legal representation during a lawsuit.