When a loved one passes away, there’s a period of grieving — and that grief can be intensified once you learn that you were left out of their will for no reason you can identify.
A person who learns they’ve been left out of a loved one’s will might wonder why they weren’t included. Some will opt to find out what legal options they have to receive an inheritance. It’s sometimes even possible for a person to file a challenge to a will — but there are some things you should consider before you do:
Have a valid reason to contest the will
There are only certain reasons why you can file a challenge, and only specific people can do this. Someone without a legal interest in an estate can’t just randomly decide that they’re going to challenge a will. Nor can you can contest a will simply because you don’t like its terms. You may have a valid reason to contest a will, however, if you suspect that it was forged, changed due to undue influence or the testator was not mentally sound at the time the will was written, just for example.
Prepare for the challenge ahead
Not only do you have to prepare for the legal case, but you’ll also have to get ready for the impact that the challenge may have on your family dynamics. Filing this type of legal case can cause a big strain, but it’s possible that a family with a strong bond will overcome the situation.
Consider mediation to resolve the dispute
It’s often possible to resolve these matters through mediation. Whether this is an option in your case depends on several factors, including the strength of your case. If mediation isn’t possible, then you’ll have to go through litigation.
Contesting a will can be very complex, so it’s important that you have someone on your side who’s familiar with the applicable laws. This can help you to learn what options you have and move forward with your chosen plan.