When we think of people passing away, we normally think of a peaceful transition wherein someone dies of old age and has time to make sound, justified decisions about the distribution of their assets after death. While this is the ideal, it is not always the case and many families will find themselves engaged in lengthy legal battles wherein disgruntled children and other beneficiaries dispute the last will and testament of the deceased.
For those facing legal issues relating to a deceased estate, your best option is to engage professional wills and estate lawyers. These legal experts will be able to help you navigate this complex area of law so that you can get the best possible outcome.
Let’s take a look at 3 ways wills and estate lawyers can help you!
1: They can help you prepare a strong last will and testament
Many of the legal issues relating to a deceased estate arise when the person who has passed away either failed to prepare a will, failed to update their will or failed to secure their will against legal disputes. Many times an issue will arise because the wording of the will was not specific enough and can be interpreted in a number of ways, leading to arguments about which beneficiaries should be entitled to what.
Engaging a wills and estate lawyer during the creation of the will is essential in protecting the document from legal challenges and making sure the deceased’s last wishes are met. The lawyer will be able to guide you through the drafting of the will and consult you on the kind of authoritative and concise language you should use to communicate your last wishes.
2: They can help you defend a will against disputes
A will dispute occurs when a beneficiary argues that the will is invalid. There are a number of different prompts for this, but it most commonly occurs when one beneficiary feels like they were disenfranchised because of the undue influence of another party over the deceased.
For example, one party may feel as though their sibling manipulated an elderly parent into giving them more of the estate than they would have gotten otherwise. Another example is when a beneficiary claims that the testator/testatrix was not in a sound state of mind when the will was written and therefore it cannot be relied upon as a reflection of their final wishes.
A wills and estate lawyer will come equipped with the skills and expertise to defend against a wide variety of will disputes.
3. They can help you dispute a will
On the other hand, a wills and estate lawyer can also help you dispute a will you feel is unfair or illegitimate. They will be able to help you poke holes in the integrity of the will to prove that it is not a valid legal document and that it should not be relied upon as the deceased’s last wishes or enforce any rights you may have under the Family Provisions Act and/or other applicable legislation.