What can you do if the will isn’t fair?

PUBLISHED 30 Oct 2019

Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult in a number of ways. It is a period of emotional upheaval, and you have to contend with your thoughts and feelings of loss, while you also have to plan and then attend all necessary memorial services, which is tiring and heart wrenching.

When it comes time to discuss the Will and dividing assets, it can become difficult and awkward. This is especially true if you discover that the Will is anything less than fair. Maybe the Will was created years ago and certain people were left out or it was made when family relations were strained that have since been repaired.

There could be any number of reasons why a Will might be unfair, but you have to think about your next steps. So, what can you do if you want to contest a Will?

Consult a lawyer

The first thing you want to do is speak to a legal team to talk about next steps you should take to move forward. Applications to contest a Will need to be made within 12 months of the date of death of the individual whose Will you are opposing. Otherwise, there must be sufficient cause proven for the application to be accepted outside of the timeframe.

Establish dependency

A lawyer will help you with this, but you should start putting together proof that you depended on the deceased person financially, although displaying other forms of dependence (such as emotional, for instance) by establishing proof of a close relationship may also be helpful.

Establish that you were promised something

It’s also possible that the deceased person had promised that you would be given something in his or her Will or otherwise provided for after their passing. You should begin amassing any proof you have to these claims, if possible, especially if you cannot establish yourself as a dependent of that person. This is also particularly important if this promise came as part of a bargain that you provided services as part of.

Don’t forget that there are strict time limits on contesting a Will.

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