Wills are representative of an estate’s owner wishes. However, it is quite usual for people to be unhappy with what their parents left behind. If you find that you are in such a situation, seek for immediate legal help. The law sets a time limit for challenging a will.
Once granting of the grant of probate happens, you only have less than six months to make an objection. Time limits provided by law vary depending on what you are contesting against. For instance, in the UK, a beneficiary has 12 years from the time the testator dies to lodge their claim against the estate. Claims involving fraud have no time limit.
It is always advisable to challenge a will before grant of probate. Probate refers to the right granted by law to an executor to start dealing with the estate of a deceased person. In other words, it means administering an estate in accordance with what is in the will. Normally, the parties mentioned in the will must seek for a go ahead from the court.
This grants them the right to start distributing property and money. An executor may need to obtain funds from the estate in order to pay legal costs or incur other expenses. Therefore, if you would like to contest a will, the best thing would be to put in place a caveat. This stops the executor from acting upon the will until hearing of your challenge and your wishes granted or denied.
Avoiding problems associated with probate
By now, you are conversant with how probate works. It is merely a process taken by the court to conclude estate distribution matters soon after death. Normally, when you are writing a will, your desire is for your spouse and children to enjoy your possessions without any problems.
The probate process can at times be lengthy and costly. Your heirs could be in dire need of money to pay for medical bills or college education. Any challenges to a will can delay such matters. On the other hand, with real estate, there is homeowners insurance and mortgage to be paid. You can avoid all these problems by drafting a will stating in clear terms how you want your estate distributed.
If you have a small estate, it can easily bypass probate. Seek advice from a lawyer who specializes in wills and estate inheritance matters. Since your intention is to ensure that no member of your family suffers when you are no longer available to fend for them, it is only fair that you give them a smooth transition.
Jointly owned assets can by-pass the probate process. Start preparing your assets early by including the name of your spouse. This makes you joint owners. You can also set up a trust. This will ensure protecting your assets and your surviving family will never have to through a probate process.