Issues with family and inheritances are hard to deal with. This is especially true if a loved one dies and you find that you are not included in their will. You may feel hurt and confused, and you may ultimately decide to contest the will in order to receive your fair share of the person’s estate. It is essential that you are fully prepared for the process, which can be very difficult to navigate.
Contesting a will can cost a lot of money
Some attorneys provide help on a contingency basis, which means they derive payment from the inheritance when the case is over. However, attorneys are less likely to work on a contingency basis when it comes to will contests. The reason is simple; if your case is unsuccessful, the attorney will not be paid for his or her efforts. You should be prepared to pay a law firm upfront if you plan on pursuing the case.
It can also be quite stressful
People who contest wills are often subject to queries about their character. You may be painted as a greedy, uncaring individual by the opposing counsel. Your relationship with the deceased may also be called into question. It may be said that you failed to assist the person while he or she was alive, which can be very disheartening. In the event the case goes to trial, you may also be required to testify.
Be prepared for the case to settle
Taking your case to trial can result in even more stress, especially if your efforts are ultimately unsuccessful. That is why many people choose to settle out of court for a sum of money. You may settle simply because you are not willing to spend the money or emotional effort that a trial requires. You may also find that your case is not as strong as you originally believed, at which point your attorney might suggest that you settle.