Why Do People Contest a Will?
Talking about death is never a comfortable subject, but for everyone, it’s inevitable. It’s for this reason that people should write a will and update that will whenever there are any changes in our lives.
Some people opt to use a DIY will kit, while most people will seek the help of a lawyer when drafting up their will. A DIY will kit is the cheaper of the two options, but when you write your own will, there is far more chance of it being contested when the time eventually comes that you’re put to rest.
This begs the question: Why do people contest a will?
Let’s take a look at some of the more common reasons why a will may be contested, and whether contesting a will is something you think you’re entitled to do. Keep in mind that if you do plan to contest a will, you’ll need the help of a specialist law firm, such as Contesting Wills Lawyers.
Also note that different states of Australia have slightly different laws when it comes to who is eligible to contest a will, so once again it is advised to consult with a lawyer to see if you are eligible to contest.
Do You Suspect the Will Has Been Forged?
This can be difficult to prove, but your lawyer will help you if a forgery is suspected.
You might believe a will has been forged if the contents of the will don’t match up with what you knew about the deceased, or what they’d told you the contents of their will would include. Forgery of wills is not something that happens often, but it does occur, unfortunately.
You Are a Family Member, and Your Financial needs Are Not Being Met
If you are a family member, maybe a son or daughter of the deceased, and you were financially dependent on that person when they were alive, then you may have legitimate grounds to contest a will that doesn’t adequately provide for you.
If the passing of a loved one leaves you in immediate financial hardship and you haven’t been catered for in the person’s will, then that’s a very valid reason to contest the will & it’s contents.
Do You Believe the Deceased Was Unfairly Coerced When Writing Or Changing Their Will?
Maybe they recently paired up with a new partner or spouse and everyone was surprised to learn that the new partner was favoured heavily in the will against all expectations.
This could be a case of where the new partner applied pressure to influence the writing of the will, so they were slanted heavily in the new partner’s favour.
If you and others in your family believe this to be the case, then you’ll want to discuss it with your lawyer and see what can be done about the situation. If unfair manipulation has taken place, then an experienced lawyer will be able to help get the contents and division of the will rectified, so it’s fairer for everyone concerned.
The elderly can be particularly vulnerable to coercion and manipulation, especially if they were alone for a long time, and then someone new and exciting came into their life.
Was the Person of Sound Mind When They Drafted Or Changed Their Will?
In order to legally put together, change and sign the last will in testament, the person must be considered to be of sound mind. In other words, they have full clarity and understand what they are doing. If someone is not of sound mind, then the will is invalid and can be contested regarding the division of the deceased’s estate.
Things like a severe brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or any form of neurological disorder indicate that a person may not be of sound mind or mentally capable of writing a valid will or understanding the implications of the will.
Furthermore, a person in this state of mind can also be very easily manipulated into making changes that don’t really reflect their own wishes.
No matter what your reasons might be for contesting a will, speak with your lawyer first to determine exactly where you stand.