If I hire a lawyer to challenge a will, does the estate pay my legal bill if I win?
Possibly, but more likely, if you win you’ll only be able to recover a portion of your legal fees and expenses.
I’m not a spouse or child of the deceased but I’m a beneficiary of the will. What role can I play if the will is challenged.
If you’re not a spouse or child of the deceased you can’t challenge the will to have it varied, but you can defend the will. But, for example, you can challenge the will if you believe undue influence was applied on the will maker. You could also potentially challenge the estate if transfers were made
What can I do if I believe the will was made in suspicious circumstances with someone influencing or controlling the will maker too much?
An action can be brought for “undue influence” to challenge the will and possibly find the will is invalid. The estate may then be distributed according to a previous will, or that will can be challenged, or it can be distributed as if there is no will at all.
My parent transferred everything to another child or put assets in joint holdings. The estate was worth very little after this was done. Can I challenge these transfers?
In some circumstances transfers of property and assets by a parent can be challenged. The reasons the parent had for making these transfers is one important factor.
My parent married a second time later in life and left everything to their second spouse. Can I challenge the will and win?
Every case depends on its own facts, but children who receive little or nothing in these circumstances will usually succeed in having the will varied.
What if I had a bad relationship with my parent and didn’t speak to them for years before they died and was given little or nothing under the will. Can I still challenge the will and win?
Every case depends on its own facts but being alienated from a parent does not automatically mean a child will receive little or nothing. In some circumstances, an alienated child may receive more than other children.
What if I’m both an executor and a beneficiary?
This is a fairly common situation when a will is challenged. In this case, you’re to perform your duties as an executor and remain neutral but you can defend or even challenge the will as a beneficiary.
How long do I have to challenge a will?
6 months after probate of the will.
Who can challenge a will?
Any beneficiary or potential beneficiary who has been left out of the will may challenge the will if it was done under suspicious circumstances. If the will itself is valid it can still be challenged but only by a surviving spouse and children of the deceased.
What role does an executor play when a will is challenged?
The executor must remain neutral and hold the estate property in trust until all parties come to an agreement or a judge orders the property to be divided.