How to Contest a Will

A will is a statement that clarifies who gets the deceased’s property and also declares the person that will be in charge of setting up the estate. A will contest seeks to invalidate the deceased personal will. There are several reasons why a will can be contested in a legal framework. It could be because the will did not reflect the person’s final wishes. Contesting for a will can be costly and time-consuming. That is why you need a lawyer that is familiar with the process and will also be able advice if it is practical to pursue the contest.

You can count on Shaffer law if you’re looking for the best Will and estate litigation Charleston WV lawyers. They work with clients to ensure they’re getting the best deal out of the situation.

Standing Determination

Not everyone can contest a will. A lawsuit conveyed to challenge the legitimacy of a last will and testament can just be filed by specific individuals who might be personally and monetarily influenced by the will’s terms and arrangements if it somehow happened to be acknowledged by the court in its present condition. In legitimate terms, these people are said to have “standing.” So who has legal standing to ​file a will contest?

The first thing you should be doing is to determine if you have a standing. Having a standing means that you will be personally affected by the outcome of the case. You can’t proceed with a contest if you don’t have a standing.

Proper filing

The will contest should be filed in a timely manner. State laws usually dictate the time limits for filing for a will contest after the death of the deceased. The period can be as short as just a few weeks to as long as a couple of years. The time for filing is usually limited so that the process of final expenses and payments to the beneficiaries can be expedited.

The time limit on filing is called the statute of limitations. After the year lapses, an activity contesting a will is subject to be dismissed by the court, since it is barred by the statute of limitations.

Grounds for Contesting

It is difficult to challenge a will. Around 99 percent of wills go through probate without issue. Wills are seen by the courts as the voice of the departed benefactor, the individual who composed the will. Since that individual is never again here to talk about his or her desires, the courts stick pretty stringently to the will. Any individual who may be determined to pick up from the will can challenge a will. The spouses are the most successful challengers, and the most successful grounds are that the individual lacked testamentary capacity or that the individual was unduly impacted or influenced to compose the will a specific way.

Even if you have a standing, there should be clear grounds for contesting the will. You can’t contest if the will was not signed with proper legal formalities, there was undue influence in making the will, or if the decedent was not in the right frame of mind.

A will may be rectified where it fails to carry out the testator’s intentions either because of a clerical error or because of a failure on the part of the person preparing the will to understand the testator’s instructions. When a will is negligently drafted this is often the first port of call before making a claim for professional negligence.


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