Key Steps in Contesting Deceased Estate Execution

While nobody wants to be in a situation where they are left out of a will, such cases are common and often throw affected survivors into disarray. Usually, only the deceased know the reasons for excluding someone from a will. However, it does not stop an aggrieved party from contesting the document. Challenging the distribution of a deceased's estate is a sensitive process for establishing what happened. This article highlights the process of contesting a deceased's estate distribution.

Ascertain Eligibility

First, you must determine if you are eligible to lodge such a complaint. Remember, not anyone can contest a will; therefore, you must be eligible for your contest to be valid. First, you must be of age as stipulated in the law. Second, people eligible to contest a will include a spouse or former partner, a child, a grandchild, and dependents. Knowing your eligibility status as far as challenging a deceased's estate helps accelerate the process and prevents time wastage. It also increases the chances of winning the contest.

File for Injunction to Stop Will Execution

When making a will, an estate owner should make a provision on how an executor should distribute their estate. It includes paying funeral and burial expenses and discharging debts. The law requires that an executor prioritises such costs before distributing the remainder of the deceased's estate to dependents. Therefore, ask your estate lawyer to stop an executor from executing a will. If you don't do it in good time, sm executor will initiate the process to settle any pending expenses and debts. It reduces an estate's size and creates another problem with the remaining debtors. Therefore, stopping a will execution process before anything happens ensures faster resolution of a contest.

Will Contest Negotiations

Negotiations can begin when an executor and other dependents agree to halt a will execution process. Notably, both parties (contesting and non-contesting) try to resolve the issue out of court. If the claimant and beneficiaries settle, an executor helps draw a formal agreement that protects all parties. However, if out-of-court mediation is not successful, court proceedings commence, but you must first file summons and affidavits in court via an executor. Most importantly, an executor, a claimant, and beneficiaries have an opportunity to defend their positions. A judge hears the evidence presented and decides whether a provision should be made in the deceased estate. A judge also determines how a claimant and defendants pay court fees.

For more assistance, contact wills and estate lawyers.