Can You Contest a Will? Unlucky 13

The other day, a client asked my advice about challenging a will.

Her relative, let’s say it was an Uncle Fernando, had died 3 years ago without a spouse or children.

Fernando had told everyone what was in his will: “I’m going to divide things equally among all 13 of my nieces and nephews.” he said.

Something Went Wrong With a New Will

When Uncle Fernando died, he had no money. At least that’s what a neighbour, who had Fernando’s power of attorney, told them.

The neighbour had sold Fernando’s house when he went into a nursing home.

Now the neighbour was saying he was the executor and sole beneficiary under Fernando’s will.

Since the names of the nieces and nephews were not in the will, the executor said they were not entitled to see it.

Were They Wrongfully Disinherited?

The 13 nieces and nephews felt they were wrongfully cut out of the will.

They felt cheated. Now, 3 years later, they were still wondering what to do.

That’s when one of the nieces came to my office for advice.

It’s too bad she came so late. The money was probably all gone and it was too late to do anything.

“Too bad you did not read my free report called, Guide to Will Disputes: How to Increase Your Chances of Success. It would have told you to get legal advice right away.”

The client asked, “Would we have had the right to contest a will if we were not named in it?”

I gave her a list of people who can normally contest a will. It all starts with answering this question:

“Do you have a financial interest in the estate?”

Generally, a financial interest in the estate can be demonstrated if you are:

  • named in the last will or prior wills
  • a creditor of the estate
  • a spouse and have property or support rights
  • financially dependent on the person making the will
  • relying on promises that can be enforced
  • providing services for the deceased and were not paid
  • entitled to inherit by an intestacy if the will was not valid

Experienced estate lawyers can help you identify if you have the right to attack the will. It is crucial to examine the strength of your legal case.

Are you uncertain if you can contest a will? book a meeting to learn more.

Download my free report, Guide to Will Disputes: How to Increase Your Chances of Success so you don’t find yourself empty handed, out of time and out of luck.