Disputing the assets of a deceased makes for a good plot for a TV show or a movie. It keeps the viewers entertained because of the never-ending conflict and drama. But real-life estate litigation is stressful especially if a will is challenged by a certain individual or party to have it changed or voided altogether since they believe the will is unfair.
There are numerous contributing factors to declare a will to be void, such as the will-maker being mentally unstable while preparing the will or that there was evidence of coercion by a beneficiary. This normally happens when estate or assets were being divided or passed on to heirs. If you are preparing your will or you are a beneficiary embroiled in the same situation, read on about the FAQs regarding estate litigations to avoid unwarranted stress.
How to prevent estate disputes?
If you are preparing your will and you don’t want the beneficiaries to fight over it, seek the help of your lawyer while preparing it. Your lawyer who would also be the executor of your will would also serve as witness that you are of sound mind when you drafted your will and that you were not forced by any of the beneficiaries to give them more than what you planned to give them.
Find will and estate litigation lawyers Melbourne based to make sure that your wishes are honoured after your death. If you are involved in a dispute among other beneficiaries, it is recommended that you start with the legal proceedings to make sure the issue would be resolved via legal means. This could mean negotiations between your lawyer and the other party’s lawyer or through mediation.
Do I need to go to a trial?
If and when the dispute escalated to legal proceedings, it does not always necessarily mean you have to go to trial. The legal proceedings would start with filing a lawsuit called a notice of civil claim. Within filing this lawsuit and going to trial, there are other several steps involved and usually, a trial is a last resort since most lawsuits have been settled before reaching this point. Settling disputes over estates and assets off the court are more affordable and could greatly benefit both parties than going to a trial.
What should I do if the wishes of the deceased are not being honoured?
If someone is delaying the legal proceedings of executing the will of the deceased, you as a beneficiary could apply to have that person or executor removed, especially if they are acting on behalf of their personal interest, not of the deceased.
When you do this, make sure that you have enough evidence to support your claim and for the court to appoint an unbiased administrator to ensure that the will of the deceased is being executed as timely as possible.
These are just some of the basic questions being asked regarding estate litigations. But it is still better that you ask for clarifications from an experienced and qualified lawyer practicing in this specialization.