Published 14 Jan 2015
Author: David Cossalter
The chances of an inheritance dispute reaching the courts will depend on a number of circumstances, so there is no guarantee you'll be able to avoid a judge's decision.
Whether you are the deceased's executor or are aiming to challenge a will, there are various benefits to settling a claim without court intervention. One of the most important considerations is cost - the longer a case drags on, the more expensive it will be for both sides, particularly if you are unsuccessful.
Many people also prefer to avoid embarking on a lengthy court battle at an already emotional time. There is also the additional strain this can put on familial relationships or friendships.
How can I avoid going to court?
If you would prefer to reach a settlement, there are ways of increasing the likelihood of avoiding court.
Firstly, getting in touch with contesting wills lawyers is highly recommended, as an experienced firm can guide you through the dispute process and adequately assess the best course of action for your particular claim.
They will collect the relevant information and documents to support your case, which will help to build a comprehensive claim to present to the estate executor.
A seasoned lawyer will prove your eligibility, outline what provisions you should be awarded and answer any questions the executor may have regarding your case.
Presenting a strong claim with sufficient supporting materials should help you reach a suitable settlement that all parties can agree upon. This will reduce the amount of fees paid, maximising the value of the deceased's estate.
What happens is a settlement can't be agreed?
Unfortunately, not all inheritance disputes can be resolved through a settlement. Some executors may decide to challenge your claim even in the face of overwhelming supporting evidence to the contrary.
When this happens, it's important to have expert legal professionals fighting your corner so that you'll have the best chance of receiving a favourable outcome if your case reaches the courts.
If you're concerned about the costs associated with a dispute that takes a significant amount of time to resolve, a no-win, no-fees lawyer could be the answer.
This means you will only pay legal expenses when the judge's decision goes in your favour, minimising risk and allowing you to enjoy peace of mind while pursuing a claim.