Finding Support: What to Do If You Are Left Out of a Will

*Collaborative Post

Losing a loved one is difficult. Aside from being a difficult situation, death can also be stressful. It is a situation that only gets worse when you have been left out of the will. Following a person’s passing when their will becomes available, the contents can often exclude those who thought they would be included.

If you have recently lost someone and found that you have been left out of the will, there are some steps that you can take to clarify why you were excluded and even contest it.

Contesting A Will

To take this step, you need to know what to look for when contesting a will. Hugh James has put together a comprehensive list with some of the grounds for contesting a will, as well as how to contest a will. With this information, you can make an informed decision about whether contesting a will is the best route for you.

An Alternative Route

Challenging a will and taking it to court can be a tough, time-consuming battle. Your chances of succeeding could be reduced if you were excluded from previous revisions of the will. It will be a difficult fight, so you must be fully prepared to handle it. However, if you would rather avoid undergoing a court battle, especially one that will leave you with significant legal costs, consider an alternative option.

There is the possibility that your lawyer could guide the estate to mediation. Going down the mediation route over fighting in a prolonged court battle, might be able to bring you a step closer to finding a resolution.

Consider The Costs

When looking at what would be the best route for you to take after being left out of a will, take a second to reflect on the situation. Emotions and stress levels are high, which makes it easy to make decisions based on little thought or consideration for the potential outcome. Before you invest in a lawyer or start the process of contesting a will, take some time to consider a few things. If you are not related to the deceased or had never been mentioned in a previous version of the will, then you will have no standing to contest the will.

Additionally, if the deceased had discussed inheritance with you, make a note of how much you can remember. With this estimate, you can form a guess on what you could potentially inherit. If the inheritance was never discussed, provide a reasonably low and high estimate on what you believe you could have received based on your knowledge.

Using this estimated amount, you can decide whether it covers the cost of a consultation and any other legal fees included in the contesting a will. If the amount does not cover it, then walk away. If you find it is double the amount, you might still end up spending the total, or more, in legal fees. As such, the best situation is to walk away.

Being left out of a will is never going to be an easy situation. It will be a time-consuming, stressful and potentially even costly experience to prove that you are entitled to some of the inheritance. Taking into consideration the different routes to take, you can make an informed decision about what is best for you financially.

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