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The Top 5 Most Common Disputes Relating to Wills | Stevens Law
However, many things can go wrong when it comes to making a will. From disputes between family members over who gets what to disagreements about the validity of the will, several potential issues can crop up. In this blog post, we'll look at the top 5 most seen disputes relating to wills and explore why these particular arguments tend to happen. Hopefully, this information will help you avoid any such disputes in the future.
Delay by Executors
One of the most common causes of will disputes is delay by executors. When someone dies, their executor is responsible for carrying out their wishes as set out in the will. This can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially if the estate is large or there are disagreements about the interpretation of the will. However, executors must act promptly and efficiently, and any delay can cause frustration and turmoil for beneficiaries. In some cases, executors may deliberately stall the process to extend their period of control over the estate. In other cases, executors may simply be incompetent or overwhelmed by the task. Whatever the reasons for the delay, it can often lead to acrimonious disputes among beneficiaries. If you are an executor, it is important to be aware of this potential pitfall and take steps to avoid it.
Disagreement on the Disposition of the Estate Property
One of the most common reasons for will disputes is disagreement over the disposition of estate property. This can happen when the deceased fails to clarify their wishes or when beneficiaries believe they have been treated unfairly. In some cases, family members may also have different ideas about who should inherit certain items. Whatever the cause, disagreements over property can quickly lead to acrimony and even legal action. If you are creating a will, it is important to take care to clearly state your wishes and ensure that all interested parties are in agreement. Otherwise, you risk leaving your loved ones with a costly and time-consuming dispute.
Transfer of Unauthorized Assets
This can happen when someone tries to transfer assets outside the terms of the will or when they try to sell or give away property that doesn't belong to them. This can lead to tension and conflict among beneficiaries and even result in legal action. If you're involved in a will dispute, it's important to seek professional help to resolve the issue. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, and they can work with you to reach a fair resolution.
Accusations of Undue Influence
It's not uncommon for family members to dispute a will after a loved one passes away. In many cases, the issue revolves around accusations of undue influence. Undue influence occurs when someone uses their relationship with the deceased to convince them to change their will in a way that is not in line with their true wishes. Such will may be declared invalid and challengeable.
Family and close friends can challenge a will, but they need to prove a problem has occurred in its formation. If proof of undue influence makes the will invalid, previous versions of a will might be applied. Otherwise, intestacy rules will dictate how the estate can be divided.
Pointing Out Problems in The Will
Many people try to create wills themselves or use informal wills or will kits. These wills have more tendency to be challenged because they might not be clear about the wishes of the deceased. Also, they might not follow all the requirements for creating a valid will. This can be avoided by consulting with a lawyer when the will is created. If there is no lawyer consultation and the deceased has passed away, the court will decide on whether a will should be probated and what the will means for beneficiaries.
One of the utmost gifts one can give their loved ones is forming a valid, inclusive will before death to evade problems.
Most property disputes are common and lead to court litigation. You must have a will drafted well in advance if you want future generations to be free from the same.
A will can be deemed for many reasons like:
- When the will is not appropriately drafted or explained correctly or witnessed.
- If any third party shows up with shreds of evidence of undue influences
- When the will writer was not mentally competent due to some health issues
- If the will is not properly executed
- When the executors are quite slow in administration
- If the will does not make any reasonable provisions for finance
- If the executor's behaviour is incompatible
It is always best to have a will prepared by a lawyer to avoid potential disputes. If you are planning to write a will, it is important to seek professional help to ensure your will is properly executed and free from disputes. At Steven and Company Law Corporation, our team of experienced lawyers can assist you in drafting a legally binding will that meets your unique needs and requirements. Contact us today for a free consultation.