What is the actual process of contesting a will?
Published 15 Sep 2016
You hear a lot about contesting a will from a lot of different sources, but have you ever thought about the actual process that’s involved? If you are unhappy, or feel like you’ve been unfairly excluded from a will, you know you can contest it. You know who the experienced, reliable lawyers are who will work towards winning your case. However, you may not know how it actually happens.
1. Choosing a lawyer
When looking for a contesting wills lawyer to work with, you need to know you’re in the hands of an expert with a track record in disputing wills. Working with a lawyer who has limited or no experience is almost certain to fail.
The specialised team we have at GMP Contesting Wills Lawyers have the experience and nous to handle and win most cases. In fact, we have a 98 per cent success rate in contesting wills.
2. Collate evidence
To successfully dispute a will, it’s necessary to gather as much accurate and relevant evidence as possible. This evidence needs to reflect the required criteria that must legally be proved to contest a will.
Failure to gather the needed evidence is a huge factor for many failed will contests. Judges will simply not consider irrelevant evidence of no substance when they deliberate. Having an expert lawyer to help gather and collate this evidence will stand you in good stead heading into the next step of contesting a will.
3. Negotiating a settlement
Settlement negotiations can be instigated by either party involved with the dispute of a will at any time. There tends to be a rather large number of will disputes that are settled before court proceedings commence.
It can be a tricky process, as you are not aware of what the other side will be using as evidence to go against your claim. There is also the chance that the other party may not be fully honest. However, settling before court proceedings begin can save you a lot of money that would have been spent on legal costs.
A high percentage of contesting a will cases will be settled at mediation. For a case to get to the mediation stage, it’s the lawyer’s duty to file initiating documents in the shape of summons and affidavits.
The biggest positive to mediation is that at this stage the executor of the estate is required to provide a list of the estate’s assets, what value they hold and what the current value of the estate is.
5. Court hearings
Even if you have followed all the previous steps, there is still a chance that the resolution of your case will be through a court hearing. However, this is nothing to fear. By working with us, you will be fully prepared and successful.
For more information on contesting a will, get in touch with the expert team at GMP Contesting a Will lawyers today.