Residents of Massachusetts who learn they’ve been left out of a will might initially feel daunted. You might want to take certain steps to contest the document.
Should you contest the will?
Contesting a will is often difficult. Depending on the situation between you and the decedent, you might not have standing to do so. However, you may have standing if you’re a family member and were mentioned in a previous will.
Contesting can be time-consuming and expensive. If you had a conversation with the decedent about an inheritance, it’s important to document it. You might want to also calculate the dollar amount of it. It might help you if you take action.
What should you do when contesting the will?
Getting the help of a professional can only benefit you when you plan to contest a will. You will be able to present proof of possible reasons why you were left out of the will such as mental impairment, duress, fraud or undue influence.
Obtain a copy of the will. You should be able to get it from the executor. If any previous copies of the will exist, you can ask to get copies of those as well. Comparing those against the most recent one can help your case.
If there is evidence backing up your belief that you have grounds to contest the will, you can file one with the court.
It’s wise to look into mediation when you’re considering contesting a will. Mediation is a better alternative to traditional court proceedings due to various reasons. It’s faster and allows the dispute to be settled faster while meeting with a neutral mediator who can help. It’s also cheaper than going to court, which benefits all parties involved.
Contesting a will isn’t always easy, but if you have evidence supporting your claim, it’s more likely to help you.