When you’ve been left out of a will of a loved one, it can hurt. If you had a close relationship or if you were promised money in the event of their death, you may be surprised to learn that you were left out of a will. While you may be upset, you will have to meet certain criteria to even file a will contest. You must be deemed an interested person, and you must have a legal reason why you want to contest the will.
Defining an Interested Person in a Contested Will Matter
According to the court system, an interested person can be an heir in the will who believes they did not get a reasonable share or children, spouses, and even people who are owed money by the deceased. You have no legal right to pursue the will of an unrelated person or a distant relative. It doesn’t matter if you think the money is going to be mistreated, you have no say in the matter if you aren’t a close relative.
Look at How Recently the Will Was Changed
If you have a previous will that names you as a significant heir, you can bring this to a probate lawyer to talk about a will contest. People change their wills for any number of reasons, and they are allowed to. Problems arise when a new person begins caring for a loved one in their home, and the will suddenly changes right before death. People who are reliant on caretakers may be talked into changing their will, even if they have had the same will for many years. A will changed right before a person’s death is always a bit suspect.
You Must Have a Standing to Challenge the Will
It’s different state to state, but you must be deemed to have a standing to challenge a will. People who are have a standing to challenge are those that are named in the current will and those who would inherit if the current will was made invalid. As a direct heir of the deceased who was left out of the will, you have little to lose by contesting the will. All people and organizations who have been named beneficiaries of the current will are allowed to challenge the will. If the will includes a no contest clause, this means that anyone who is currently inheriting from the will can lose the entire amount if they contest and lose in court.
For a probate lawyer, contact a law firm such as Wilson Deege Despotovich Riemenschneider & Rittgers.