An inheritance is something that can rip a family apart. This is one of the common issues that often happens after or before the reading of a will. Family members fight with each other when they do not get the amount of inheritance they are expecting to have. It is sad to say that some will willingly destroy their family ties just for the money. Some people are just too greedy and will even give more value for money than the relationship they have with their family. As impossible as it may seem, some may even do awful things just for money.
There are several reasons why family members fight because of inheritance. The heirs sometimes feel that they should have gotten more than what was given to them, or that some of the other heirs do not deserve the inheritance they have received. A conflict will arise when the names of other family members are missing from the will. Claiming your rightful share of the inheritance is a right that you must have. These are the things you must do when you are someone they excluded from the will or someone that has gotten a share which you think is unfair.
Get a Copy of the Will
If a will is present, you must have a copy of the will if you are one of the heirs. The testament contains what you are supposed to receive, and when can you get it. Getting a copy of a will can give you a clue if somebody has changed the will. The last will of a testator has the possibility of alteration or being fake if it has been made or signed under duress or signed when the testator has no mental capacity. It is also great to ask if the testator has made previous versions of the will, in that way you can compare. If you find some discrepancies, and they are suspicious, you must ask the lawyer in charge of the will on why the testator made the changes. When the reasons are too shady, you must challenge the will.
Challenging the testament will require you to have a lawyer with great skills to handle your case. The lawyer should have exceptional knowledge of how to find the faults and holes that can show the will’s invalidity. A lawyer can tell you whether or not there is a chance that you will win the case if you decide to bring the matter into court. The lawyer can also reconcile when you and the other party decide to reach an agreement and handle the matter without having the case reach court. If you and the other party decide to talk about the matter and leave the court out of it, have the agreement in writing. This is proof that you can hold on to when the other party suddenly has a change of heart. The lawyer must also be trustworthy. Money can do things to change any person’s perception, even a friend can turn into a foe.
Prove That You Have a Claim.
Challenging a will is not available to anyone known by the testator. The people who can challenge a will are the testator’s blood relatives, cohabitants, dependants, beneficiary, and creditors. A creditor is a person whom the deceased owed money. The creditor can make his claim on the estate of the deceased when he has followed the proper notice required by the law.
If you are one of the qualified people who can challenge the testator’s will, contest the will within the stated period allowed before it becomes final. Failure to do this can lead you to lose your chance of challenging the will.
Challenge the Will
After finding a great lawyer and proving that you have the right to contest the will, you must make your move and challenge the will. State your grounds for challenging the will and prepare for a battle in court. Challenging the validity of a will is going to be difficult when you do not have enough proof. In these types of cases, the burden of proof is going to be on your shoulder. You have to make sure that all your evidence is genuine and strong to have a concrete case against the other party.
Know the Grounds for Your Claim
There are multiple grounds you can use to challenge a will. As mentioned a while ago, one is when they have given you less share than the other heirs. You must prove to the court that the testator would have intended for you to receive more than what is written on the will. You can present previous versions of the will, or you can present witnesses who can testify that the testator told you that you will receive a certain amount of money from him as an inheritance when he dies.
Another ground to contest the present will is when you have discovered a subsequent testament that can make the current one lose its binding effects. Of course, you must first prove that the newly discovered testament is genuine and not fake. Justify that the will is the latest version of all the other will and that it is the one that needs to be given an effect.
The process of contesting a will can take a toll on your mind, body, and your pocket, so before bringing it to court, you must make sure that you have the rightful claim and that you have a chance of winning. It is also important to consider if it is all worth it. Some people go to court to claim what is legitimately theirs, but will, later on, realize that they have spent a larger amount of money than what they will receive after the struggle in court. Weigh in the chances, the expenses, and most especially, ponder on whether the money is more important than your family. Your family ties are something that you should treasure. Remember that they are your blood and that money is only a worldly thing that should not destroy your relationship.