Most of the time, when someone dies, estate administration is straightforward. While it may take a lot of effort and involve delays, the executor will follow the instructions left behind by the testator, the family members will receive their share of the estate and there are no major issues.
However, there are situations in which things aren’t that simple. Perhaps family members think there may have been fraud involved with the will or undue influence pressuring a loved one to make last-minute changes. You may need to consider bringing a challenge against the will or estate plan in certain situations. If you do that, what risks do you take?
You risk a reduction of the estate’s total value
One of the reasons that people try to avoid probate court when planning their estates is the expense involved. It can cost a significant portion of the estate’s total value to negotiate a challenge in court. If there is a challenge to the will or estate plan, court costs will diminish how much beneficiaries eventually receive from the estate.
You could lose out on your inheritance completely
Some people, insistent on a specific legacy or wary of in-fighting, include a no-contest clause in their will. If such a clause exists, you could potentially lose your inheritance for bringing a challenge, even if you have grounds for doing so.
Reviewing the estate plan and the reasons you want to challenge it with an experienced an estate planning attorney can give you an idea about whether the benefits outweigh the risks in your case.