As losing a loved one can be a very difficult time for all those involved, it’s extremely important that you carefully consider whether you want to contest the Will or not. With heightened stress levels and emotions all over the place, it’s essential that you are 100% happy with your decision.
If you have decided that you want to contest a Will, there are some strict guidelines and time limits that you need to abide by in order for your challenge to be accepted and processed. These time limits are dependent upon the reason for which you are contesting the Will.
Not Before Death
Although this may seem a little obvious, you can’t contest a Will before the testator is deceased. A Will is a legal document that only matures once the writer has passed away. Therefore, if you do not agree with a person’s Will there is nothing that can be done about it until they have died.
Unless they are the witness, it is unusual for a person to know someone else’s Will prior to their death, so wanting to contest a Will before someone has died is not usually an issue.
Inheritance Act Claim for Maintenance
Under the Limitation Act of 1980, if you want to make an inheritance claim for maintenance, then you can only do this within 6 months from the grant of probate being issued. There are only a limited number of people who can apply under this Act, those people include: the deceased’s wife or husband, an ex-wife or husband of the deceased who has not remarried, children and any person who lived with or was being wholly maintained by the deceased within the past 2 years.
Contesting a will can involve some complicated legal proceedings.
These claims would include provision for the above people to a reasonable amount depending on the circumstances. This could be financial or inheriting property, land or possessions.
Beneficiary Making a Claim against an Estate
If you are a beneficiary of the Will and you would like to make a claim against the estate then the time limit placed upon you is 12 years from the date of death.
You would make a claim under this category if you did not agree with the way the estate was distributed or if you did not think the Will was carried out or dealt with appropriately. This could cover a number of issues including not being given something that was declared yours in the Will.
If you believe that the Will is fraudulent then there is no time limit, and you can contest it at any point. To put forward this type of challenge you may believe that the testator was coerced into writing the Will, therefore it is invalid.
You could also believe that the deceased never actually wrote this Will and it is completely fraudulent. If you want to go forward with a claim like this then you must have strong evidence to support your case, otherwise you will struggle to prove your case. The best thing to do is seek out a professional, as they will be able to advise you whether or not your claim is worth pursuing. You may find this an interesting site to investigate your will claim.
Contesting a Will can be a long, drawn out and expensive process, so it’s important that you are completely sure you want to go ahead with your claim. On top of that, these strict time limits add further restrictions. One of the best things to do is discuss your issue with a professional as soon as possible. They will be able to offer you advice and help you move forward with your claim should you so wish.