When a loved one passes away, you are likely going to experience a range of emotions. This can make it difficult to think clearly and make important decisions; however, if your loved one's estate plan isn't the one that you were aware of, you might have to make a big decision now. Do you allow the estate plan to close out without alerting anyone about the issue or do you contest it?
If you are leaning toward contesting it, there are some points that you have to consider. These might help you decide what you are going to do.
- Probate litigation can tear families apart. Make sure that you are fully prepared to deal with having to cut ties with some family members. They might not understand why you are calling the estate plan into question. Some might even say that you are just being greedy.
- Be prepared for the battle. Your character might be called into question. There may be some difficult conversations about why you are contesting the will. You may have to fight to show why the current estate plan isn't the valid one.
- Your emotions might suffer. This is going to be a difficult process. Even though you feel like you are well within your rights to contest the will, you might feel a range of emotions. This can range from elated that you are taking action to upset that you are having to go through this.
In many cases, will contests will settle before they go to trial. These cases can be costly, and settling might result in saving some money. Additionally, a settlement takes away the uncertainty of what is going to happen. Be sure to consider these points if you are thinking about accepting a settlement.