What Happens When People Dispute a Will?

People usually write a will before they die. This could be because they own valuable things and want their loved ones to get them when they die. But sometimes, after a person dies, family members can't agree on what the will says. It can cause confusion, fights, and broken relationships if it's not handled right. It's best to stop it in its tracks as soon as possible so it doesn't get out of hand. In this same vein, this article will tell you what happens when people disagree about a will.

Photo by Alex Green

They Decide Whether They Have Grounds

Before a will can be contested, there needs to be a reason for the other side to do so. Most of the time, they would need to be a spouse, family member, or someone who was financially dependent on the person who made the will before they could take the dispute to court. Also, there are some things that would need to be shown to be true first. This means that the person who died was of sound mind and that their will wasn't changed against their will. A will can also be contested if it wasn't signed according to state law or if it was made by lying. Once either side can prove this, they can decide whether or not to go to court.

They Take It To Court

When people disagree about a will, one thing that often happens is that they want to go to court. This usually means taking the beneficiary to court or trying to show that the will is not valid. Most of the time, you need a professional estate planning attorney to help you through this process. They can best represent you and tell you what steps to take. It has been found that many cases involving wills are solved before they go to court. So, this is a choice you should think about because it will probably cost you much less money and time.

They Try Mediation

As we briefly talked about above, mediation is often used when people disagree about a will. This is when the lawyer helps you and the other person agree on the best way to solve the problem so that everyone is happy. This works best when both parties are willing to agree and are at peace with each other. Since it's usually a family dispute, it might also be best to see if you can listen to each other and talk to each other in a good way to come to an agreement. It could also be a better choice than having the courts make a decision that might not be good for both sides. But mediation isn't always an option. If that's the case, they would have to fight it out in court, which could take years and cost both sides a lot of money in legal fees.

When a loved one dies, the last thing you want is to spend the time you should be spending grieving fighting over their will. But when money and property are involved, it can be hard for people to agree on fair terms. If the right steps are taken to find a peaceful solution, it could all end in a way that is good for most people and gives respect to the dead.
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