There are lawyers that specialize in will disputes. These will dispute lawyers exclusively handle such cases and may not even dabble in other kind of cases such as criminal, civil or other family law related issues. However, before seeing a will dispute lawyer, one first needs to take a step back and at least know the basics.
What is meant by will dispute?
Will dispute is when there is a conflict as to how the property needs to be distributed as per the will of the deceased person. This usually is brought up when one or more of the beneficiaries feel that they have unjustly been dealt with. It could even be brought up by someone who is not even named in the will but feels that they should have been mentioned.
Will disputes happen after the person has deceased and when the administrator is handling the Estate. The reason for will disputes happening after the person is deceased is that the people or beneficiaries are not aware of how the contents are to be distributed. It also happens as all the details of the will are not usually known while the person is still alive.
Why do will disputes happen?
The reasons for disputing of wills could be due to any of the below mentioned reason or reasons.
- There could be conflicts as to who should get which item. This usually happens in cases of prized possessions or really valuable pieces of furniture, fixtures or items which all the relatives have an eye on and hope to possess after the decease of the owner of that piece or property.
- It could be a dispute in regards to the outstanding taxes or the property debt which needs to be paid by the beneficiary or beneficiaries.
- It could also be a dispute regarding the timing of the availability of the property to the beneficiary especially if it is not to be immediately made available to them.
- There are possibilities of conflicts when it comes to the distribution of monetary funds among the various friends, relatives or other parties that are interested.
- It could also be a conflict based on the interpretation of the state laws or the ones that are applicable. This usually happens when the person has changed residences or moved recently.
There are wills which can have a non contest clause which means that if the beneficiary files a contest to the will then he or she gets disqualified from receiving any distribution whatsoever.
Why are will dispute lawyers needed?
These lawyers are needed as they specialize in this field. They inform you if you could be liable to pay the other party’s legal fees in cases where the claim is not successful. Good lawyers are needed so that the legal costs are minimized when it comes to contesting the will. These lawyers as part of their duties would continuously monitor the legal costs and also advise you as to what is the best way to handle the dispute.