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Andy Masaki On 25th Jan,18
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How much will it cost to contest a Will?
Challenging the contents of a ‘Will’ is a very hard job. It’s a rare case scenario, but it happens!

First of all, you got to understand whether or not the Will can be disputed. Because a Will is not just a piece of paper that has scribblings on it! It determines what property is held by whom, and to whom will it be passed on!

Next, whether or not you can contest a Will or not! Because you have to convey enough reasons and proofs to speak against the legal Will!

And, if you have already figured out that it is difficult to dispute or contest a Will’s contents, then I guess you have pretty well assumed what could be the cost of filing such a lawsuit!

The cost of disputing a Will is really high!

1. Fees of an attorney:

You are liable to pay the fees of the attorney, solicitor, or a lawyer’s fees if you protest against a probated Will!

To be precise, this is costly!

There will be quite a bit of things involved in such a case. You have to consider the doctor’s fees as new reports need to be submitted at a court hearing that will hold records of the deceased testator’s medical condition at the time of the Will’s signing!

Now, there’s this thing called testamentary incapacity. If it is proved that the person under whose name the Will is signed, or the testator, was not in sound mental or physical health during the making of the Will, then your chances of winning the case will be high!

But, all these are both time consuming and involve lump sum fees. Generally, you will have to pay all the investigation and re-analysis charges!

2. Court fees:

You are liable to pay all the court fees surrounding the contestation of the Will!

Don’t take it lightly as you have compelled the court to re-open all the files related to the deceased person and those related to the Will probate.

So, these fees you will have to pay as you are a third party to the Will, and you may/may not be connected to the Will!

Now, when you dispute a will, don’t be so hopeful as it takes quite some time for the court to bring the case to an end, and it typically takes more than 16 or 18 months to come to a definite conclusion!

And for all the hearings and court sessions, there are fees, which you will definitely have to pay!

3. If you lose the case:

This is the deadliest part and you will have to take a lot of pain if you lose the case!

There’s no easy walking away from the Court’s rooms!

If you lose, then chances are that you will have to pay your fees, plus the fees of the winning party!

Why so, you might ask!

Well, it is you who harassed the court, the beneficiaries of the Will, the executor of the Will, the lawyers, plus it is you who caused the old case files to be reassessed!

So, you have to pay penalties for the inconvenience you have caused!

But obviously, law varies from state to state and case to case!

But always look for opportunities to enter into a “No win no fee” agreement with your lawyer!

For more details, check with your lawyer and think about the options you have!

4. If you win the case:

This the best part of contesting a Will!

This is why I always say, check your grounds first, whether or not you have high chances to win the case.

Don’t let the other party walk away just like that! Try to get your reimbursements from the opposite party!

If not much, then at least try to take out some of your court and/or lawyer’s fees!

That’s all I had to say!

Just take your time while disputing a Will!

Because time and money both are valuable, and unfortunately both are drained out heavily in these type of cases!

Last Updated on: Thu, 25 Jan 2018

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