When a loved one dies, there may be a dispute about their will and the assets they leave behind. This is called a will contest, and it is possible to defend a contested will on a no win no fee basis with specialist solicitors. Contesting a will can be expensive and time-consuming, but it is sometimes worth the effort if there are grounds for challenging what is written in the document. Before you take on a challenge, it is wise to consult an estate planning attorney to review the will and get legal advice about what your options are.
Inheritance disputes are usually complex no win no fee contest a will and complicated, so you need to find a solicitor who is experienced with these claims. It is also important to have a solicitor who understands the law in your state. A no win no fee agreement can help make the case more affordable, but you need to be sure that your claim is strong enough to have a good chance of success. If your challenge is unsuccessful, you will be liable for the costs of defending the will.
A successful challenge will require that you prove that the deceased person did not have the mental capacity to create and execute their estate plan. This can be difficult, especially if you are not familiar with the person’s condition and habits in life. For example, if the deceased person was known to drink heavily or have a history of dementia, it would be hard to argue that they had the mental capacity to create and execute their will. In addition, you must show that the deceased was not under the influence of undue influence or fraud when they created their estate plan.
To contest a will, you need to file a complaint with the probate court in your state. This is usually done by the surviving spouse and children of the deceased. It is also possible to file a complaint if you would have received something under the state’s intestacy laws, or if you are owed money by the deceased person (such as creditors).
You can try to prevent a will contest by implementing a no-contest clause in your own will. This is also known as an in terrorem clause and it effectively says that anyone who challenges the will forfeits any inheritance they would have received under it. However, this type of provision is not always effective, so it is best to consult an estate planning attorney about what options are available in your state.
It is also a good idea to write down as much as you can remember about any discussions of an inheritance with the testator (deceased) and to estimate the dollar value of what might have been left for you. This will serve as your evidence if you need to prove that you had sufficient standing to contest the will. You can also consider seeking legal assistance from a Citizens Advice Bureau or contacting a local community legal centre to see if they will work on a no-win no fee basis for legal expenses.