When A Legacy Goes Wrong
Preparing and writing a will is something that most of us don’t want to think about if we can help it. Indeed, many people leave preparing their last will and testament until late in their lives while others leave behind loved ones prematurely without ever having prepared one at all. The fact is that preparing a will is not easy but having one that reflects your true wishes is essential to those left behind.
The problem is that even though many wills are executed without too many issues, there are some that face legal challenges. In fact, this situation is all too common and comes at a time when there are grieving and mourning family members. These will disputes can cause further emotional fallout, trauma, and anger.
Dealing with a Disputed Will
The legal area of wills is a particularly complex one and the legal professionals who specialise in this area need to be compassionate and understanding but also remain as objective as possible so that the best legal outcome can be obtained. The challenges that arise when it comes to the execution of a will generally cover these areas:
- Instructions: Preparing a will is not an easy task but one of the major issues is when people prepare their wills without professional legal help. Their intentions for the division of assets may be good but quite often, their instructions may be difficult to understand or may even not be possible to execute. The instructions in a will need to be clear and when they are not, confusion can occur, causing those left behind to question the will itself.
- Fairness: One of the most common issues, there are times when family members feel that the distribution of remaining assets is unfair. The parties who generally challenge in this area may feel entitled to more. Once again, this can be the cause of a great deal of anger.
- Influence: Though a will should always be an accurate reflection of the true intent of the person writing it, there are cases where undue influence can occur. This is when a person who is preparing the will may be influenced by an external party, such as a family member or even an acquaintance. Commonly in these cases, the external party is trying to persuade the will writer to alter or prepare his or her will for personal gain and benefit.
- Execution: Sadly, there are cases where the official executor of the estate may not have the best interests of all beneficiaries in mind. In these cases, he or she may not distribute the assets as instructed for personal reasons such as a family dispute.
Dealing with an Emotive Area of Law
The area of wills is an emotionally fraught and complex one. During a time when family members are often grieving and finding it difficult to cope, a dispute may be raised by one or more parties that needs to be addressed. Clearly, this is not ideal but a good legal firm has the capacity and experience to deal with this area in a professional manner.