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Being left out of a will: What should be your next step

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2020 | Will Contests

It is entirely possible for family members in Massachusetts not to share their will before they pass away. Understandably, they do not want any fighting to occur during their lifetime, and thus the reasoning for keeping it a secret. But what happens when they do eventually pass away, and you find out that you’re nowhere to be found within their will. You’re likely to feel a rush of different types of emotions, but that isn’t going to change anything. Therefore, the following includes a list of steps you can take when you’re not included in a will.

Keep calm and think about the cost

It can be easy to allow your anger to lead you into a costly court battle. This is why it is so important to keep calm and think about your actions carefully. For example, if you’re not a family member, you may not have any right to contest the will in court. You can take the family to court, but you may end up paying more for an attorney than what you’ll actually receive in the end.

Quickly obtain a copy of the will

On some rare occasions, family members will take advantage of a mentally incapacitated family member in order to change their estate planning documents. If you believe that you were originally included in the will and for some reason taken out, it is imperative to obtain a copy of the will. An executor can provide you with evidence of any changes made to the will which you can then present in court.

Seek Mediation

Court battles can take months or even years to complete. To help limit the amount it takes to come to an agreement as well as the cost of a court case, you may seek mediation. This means you work with an attorney to speak to the other family members regarding finding a solution to the issue presented by you.

You have a wide variety of options at your disposal; however, it’s never a good idea to take these steps on your own. Always consult with a professional attorney as they may be able to provide you with a much clearer path to your preferred result.