The passing of a friend or relative is always a difficult time. With a will dispute, the ensuing conflict can make the grieving process even worse. More often than not, it can result in bitter divides between relatives and friends. 

In the best-case scenario, these disputes can be solved by compromising even before coming to legal blows between will and estate lawyers. However, if that is unlikely to be the case, you need to understand how to resolve them. 

In this article, we will go over some of the important considerations in the event of a will dispute. This information can give you and everyone involved a chance to have more meaningful and productive conversations.

An executor is obligated to delay disbursement of the will in the event of a dispute

The executor of the will is responsible for carrying out the deceased’s wishes and managing what is known as the probate process. The first step of this process involves the executor obtaining a grant of Probate. 

However, if a dispute arises, the executor can delay the distribution of the bequeathed properties for as long as necessary. In most cases, the executor sets a limit of 12 months from when their client died. This should give the beneficiaries ample time to settle any conflicts and come to a compromise.

If you are a party hoping to dispute the will, it is important to file for a claim before the wealth is distributed to give yourself a chance at a fair share before the money is spent. 

Real estate properties are the most common point of contention in a will

In cases where ownership of the family home is distributed evenly among the deceased’s children,  there will likely be disagreements on what to do with it. Some might insist that the property be sold off, and the value distributed among the beneficiaries; others might insist that the home be kept in the family. 

Usually, this is settled by having those who want to keep the home buyout the shares of those who want to sell it. Some wills have this option written in so that the monetary value of these shares can be redistributed in the money bequeathed instead. 

Unauthorized transfers can be reclaimed

If one or more persons were granted the power to manage the deceased’s estate, there could be a case of unauthorized transfer. This is when people with power of attorney try to consolidate the deceased’s assets into their properties unfairly, usually done in the time before the death of the decedent. 

Given time in the court with some skilled will and estate lawyers, these assets could be reclaimed so long as sufficient evidence is provided. 

Undue influence is a common dispute

A will can be contested if the decedent was somehow coerced into writing a person into the will. An investigation will be conducted at the behest of the executor. If the will is considered invalid, then either past versions of the will or intestacy rules will apply

In conclusion

Losing a loved one is a tough and delicate time for everyone left behind. That being said, it is important to know every legal recourse you can take when it comes to will disputes. This is key to having civil and peaceful discussions that can result in a healthy and agreeable compromise. If you are looking for will and estate lawyers in Queensland to help with your family’s will dispute, send us at Springfield Legals a message. We have the expertise to help you and your family during this particularly difficult time in your lives.