Contesting a will is a daunting prospect. We are all aware that the world of inheritance law is incredibly complex, and that undermining a legally valid document is by no means an easy task.
What’s more, there are financial strains to consider. Even in relatively straightforward cases, the process of contesting a will can last for months – if not years. So, even in spite of our fears over the complexity of the case, it can be tempting to take on the process alone, rather than with the help of contesting a will solicitors.
So, can you do it? The short answer is yes. The slightly longer answer, however, is this: Yes, but you’ll miss out on the following…
This may seem obvious, but it can’t be overstated. You could spend hours of your time pouring over Google search results, online guides – even legal texts – to work out the how, when, and why of contesting a will, but, if you’re lacking experience, you’re not going to be capable of leading this case forwards.
In any area of life, experience teaches us what to anticipate and guard against, what to do and what not to do, and the legal profession is no exception.
It is worth bearing in mind that solicitors are specialists with many years of training and experience. Many areas of the law are constantly evolving, and solicitors have to be ready to evolve alongside – to pre-empt changes, and to be reactive whenever the situation calls for it. They are constantly staying up to date with legal developments and attending regular training sessions to keep abreast of any changes in the law or landmark cases. They are also knowledgeable on which will disputes are likely to be time-sensitive.
What if you managed to find a rich, up-to-date and easily understandable resource online, with all the information anyone studying inheritance law and will disputes could need. Will that be enough?
No, because will dispute solicitors don’t just spout objective information each time a new client walks in the door. They use their comprehensive understanding of this field of law, and every unique detail their client gives them about their particular case, to give bespoke advice.
Founts of information are useful to a point, but not when it comes to unravelling the specifics of your case. It’s simply impossible.
Risk of Costs Spiralling Out of Control
There is a risk of how much it could cost you. For example, if you issue legal proceedings then you are at risk of paying the costs of the other party if your case is not successful.
There are also complex rules on costs and the court can consider your conduct, offers made throughout the litigation, and other relevant factors when awarding costs.These points alone are a very good reason why you should instruct a solicitor to help navigate you through a claim.
Your loved ones will be worth their weight in gold to you throughout this process but, by the mere fact that they care so deeply about you, they will not always be impartial, or even level-headed. When you’re upset, they’re going to be upset; when you’re feeling all the emotions, grief and open-ended disputes can stir up, so will they.
Your solicitor will represent an impartial third-party. Yes, they will be invested in you winning this case, but they will not give into the emotion of the situation. This really can be a rock in hard times, and reminds you why working with a solicitor was such a good choice in the first place.
The Best Possible Outcome
There are some things we can’t do alone, and representing ourselves during a will dispute is one of them. Yes, you might make it through to the other end, but will you really be able to get yourself the best outcome?
Our verdict is no. It has to be done right, and to be done right it is best to do it right the first time.