Leading Reasons Why You May Need to Hire a Lawyer to Contest a Will

5 January 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog


Although some people assume that making funeral arrangements will be the toughest part of their loved one passing away, more often than not, some families will face challenges when it comes to dividing the deceased's estate. This is especially true if the head of the family left a substantial amount of assets in the form of properties, cash and so on. You could be thinking that as long as a will is in place, the deceased's last wishes have to be observed, but this is not always the case. Several issues can crop up that would lead to one or more family members disputing the will, which mandates hiring a contested wills attorney. Keep reading for some of the leading reasons why you may need to hire a lawyer to contest a will.

Property disputes

Without a doubt, a typical reason for disputed wills stems from property matters whereby the beneficiaries cannot concur on how best to make use of these assets. For example, the family home may have been left to siblings but find while most of them have moved out and started their own lives, one adult child could be living in the home. In this scenario, the other adult children may find selling the family home to be the most equitable to share the property, whereas the individual still living at home may not find this measure in their best interests. Consequently, the majority cannot put the house on the real estate market until all beneficiaries of the family home agree. The first thing a contested wills attorney will do is establish whether the beneficiary that does not want to move out is ready to buy the house from the other beneficiaries. If all beneficiaries cannot assent to this solution, the courts will have to decide how best to resolve the property dispute.

A rogue executor

When writing a will, it is always advisable to select an objective third party as the executor of the will since this individual will not have a stake in the estate. But this is not always the case. In some scenarios, the deceased may think it is best to name one of the beneficiaries as the executor under the impression that this will ensure their last wishes are adhered to. However, because this beneficiary that is appointed executor will have access to the estate's assets, they could end up going rogue and withdrawing money from the deceased's accounts for their benefit. When this occurs, the other beneficiaries can dispute the will since these unauthorised withdrawals, transfer of assets and so on can greatly diminish the initial fraction of the estate. Hiring a contested wills attorney is advisable so that the rogue executor can be removed and their share of the estate used to restore any money or assets lost.