When a loved one passes away, it can be difficult to have perspective on what is happening before you. Grief disrupts our emotions significantly and throws us into a place where everything seems uncertain, troubling and urgent. If you were surprised to learn of the wishes stated by your late loved one, you may feel hurt that you or someone close to you was not given the recognition that they expected. You may even believe that there was some wrongdoing that caused this outcome.
If you are convinced that the wishes stated in the will were not the true last wishes of your loved one, then you do have the option to contest the will. This may sound like an extreme action to take, but it is a perfectly legitimate way to get a fair outcome for all and to honor your loved one’s memory. The following is an overview of who can challenge a will, and under what circumstances.
Make sure that you have grounds to contest the will
Only certain people have the grounds to contest a will. In order to contest your loved one’s will, you must either be mentioned in their will or a natural heir. In other words, if you are a close friend who is not mentioned in the will or an immediate blood relative, you will not have grounds to contest the will.
Make sure that you have a good reason to contest the will
You cannot contest the will simply because you were not happy with the contents of it. You must give a valid legal reason why it should be contested. For example, you may have reason to believe that your loved one was unduly influenced by another person and coerced into making changes to their will, or that the will was subject to fraud.
Make sure that you get closure after the death of a loved one and that their last wishes are honored by contesting the will if you believe that it is necessary.