The decision to contest a will is not an easy one. You will likely be going against the wishes of close family members, leading to fallouts. However, if you believe you have valid reasons, it is necessary to protect your legal rights.
Before making the big decision to proceed with your plans, it is advisable to consider these crucial aspects of your case and ensure you do not lose out in the end.
1. How much will it cost you?
A will contest comes at a cost. You will have to pay legal fees on top of the time spent following up on your case. So if what you are after in the estate is not worth it, you may be better off not contesting the will after all.
2. Do you have a valid reason?
You cannot contest a will simply because you are unhappy with it. You need to have valid reasons for contesting a will, such as undue influence or mental incapacity of the will owner. Without justifiable reasons, your efforts are likely to go to waste, leaving you in a worse position since you will still have to pay the cost of the suit.
3. Is it too late to act?
To contest a will under California law, you have 120 days after the will is admitted to probate. Should you be within the legal timeframe, you can go ahead to contest the will. Otherwise, your case could be overtaken by events if you wait too long.
You need to be well-prepared before instigating a will contest. Having evidence to back your claims is an excellent place to start. In addition, ensure that any documentation you might need is at hand to avoid unnecessary delays. Ultimately, the outcome of your contest will be determined by the decisions you make before filing your case in court.