It’s never easy when someone close to you passes away. However, it can also be challenging because you are left to sort out all the details of their estate, including who will inherit what, how to transfer assets to heirs, and what will happen to any debts or taxes. However, one aspect of estate administration that you may not have considered is whether or not you can contest a will.
The deceased may have lived a long life, but that does not guarantee that everything will go as they had planned. For instance, if they made a will, that document might lay out their wishes for how their assets are divided. But what happens if someone else contests a will? A will contests the legal process by which someone challenges the validity of a will, which is decided either by a court or by a court-appointed attorney.
What Constitutes a Consistent Will?
A consistent will is a legal document that goes into effect when someone dies, appointing a specific person to oversee the distribution of their estate. Usually, that person is the executor or who manages and distributes a person’s assets after they die. They will also allow a person to state who they want to receive certain assets (such as personal property or real estate), which can be very valuable for wealthy families. However, wills can be expensive to draw up, and, more importantly, if the person who wrote it dies without making one, then the court will appoint someone to oversee the distribution of the estate. That may not be the person you want, especially if the named executor is untrustworthy. So, is there an affordable way to write an effective will?
A will is one of the most personal documents a person can have, and it should specify how you want your assets handled when you die. But who gets to decide who gets your assets? And what are the rules about when you can change your will, and how do you do it? Here, we’ll take a look at two of the most important rules about wills: the intestacy rule and the durable power of attorney for health care.
- The deceased lacked the necessary mental competence: No matter how long you’ve lived, death can come as a surprise. Preparing to deal with your family’s loss and facing your own mortality is difficult, but it’s even more painful to learn that someone you love intended to leave you something. That someone’s inability to understand their own death will leave loved ones bewildered about what they should do.
- The decedent did not fully comprehend and concur with the will’s provisions: The decedent named his children as the sole beneficiaries of his will. However, he stipulated that in the event one of his children predeceased him, his estate would be split between his remaining children. The decedents will be admitted to probate, and one of his children brought an action challenging the will. The court found in favor of the challenging child, and the appellate court affirmed.
- Improper influence: A will, however, is only as good as its execution. That’s why having a will that clearly expresses your wishes is important. A will that fails to state your wishes and intentions clearly can lead to questions of intestacy. Reviewing it with an estate planning attorney will make sure it is legally sound.
How Much Does It Cost to Contest a Will?
When you inherit a family member’s estate, you might be prepared for it to include an array of assets. But now and then, an inheritance consists of a will contest. This means that when the testator—the person who executed the will—dies, the terms of the will may be called into question.
When someone dies, the executor of the person will be responsible for distributing the assets—the property, money, and other valuable assets—and carrying out the wishes of the deceased person. The executor can work with a will contest lawyer in Atlanta if beneficiaries believe beneficiaries have been cheated or robbed of the estate. The lawyer can help beneficiaries contest the will in court. The lawyer may also help with conflicts between family members after death.
Can You Appeal a Will?
You know you should write a will, but do you? There is a common misconception that after you have passed away, all that’s left to do is sign the final documents, and your family will have everything they need. But, as anyone who has ever gone through probate knows, probate—the legal process of bringing a will to a conclusion—is easy, and navigating the process when you die can be especially difficult. The will must be probated, which means a probate judge will need to sign off on it, and a judge’s approval is required before assets can be distributed to heirs.