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Steps to take after being left out of a will

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2021 | Will Contests

If you are left out of a deceased family member’s will, it may be possible to have the document invalidated. This might be true if you can convince a Massachusetts judge that it was created by someone who wasn’t of sound mind. Alternatively, a will may be invalidated if you can show that the document was altered against the testator’s wishes.

What are your odds of obtaining a favorable outcome?

If you weren’t named in previous versions of a will, it’s unlikely that a judge will award you a portion of the testator’s estate. It’s worth noting that you generally don’t have standing to challenge a will unless you are related to the person who you are seeking to inherit from.

Should you take the matter to court?

While you have the right to pursue a will contest in court, it may be in your best interest to work with a mediator instead. Doing so may make it possible to come to an amicable resolution in a timely and affordable manner. Resolving the matter as quickly as possible is important because an executor must use estate assets to pay any costs associated with the case. Therefore, allowing it to drag on for several months or years could significantly reduce what you’ll get if your challenge is successful.

If you are considering a will contest, it may be a good idea to do so with the help of an attorney. He or she may be able to review the document in question to determine if you have standing to have your challenge heard by a judge. An attorney might also solicit witness testimony in an effort to prove that the deceased individual intended to transfer assets to you after his or her death.