When someone passes away, it is naturally a highly emotional time filled with grief and sadness. However, there are legal questions about the future ownership of their property that need to be answered in their absence.
In our legal system, the last will and testament is the legal mechanism by which we outline where out assets are allocated following our inevitable demise. The underlying concept is deceptively simple – a deceased person has a pre-existing document that disclaims which of their family members, friends and other relationships are entitled to which parts of their property.
Normally this results in the direct decedents of the deceased (children and grandchildren) getting a large sum of financial assets and even the family home which is typically sold off. Other claimants can include close friends, colleagues and mentors who had an impact on the deceased person’s life.
While this process sounds straightforward in theory, it is often far from uncomplicated when the ball gets rolling. This is because there is a legal mechanism by which these documents can be discredited in order to force another, ‘fairer’, division of assets and this involves the engagement to some will dispute lawyers.
A common example of a challenge is when a someone close to the deceased feels that they were not in a sound state of mind when they prepared their final wishes. If it can be proven in court that they weren’t in sound mind, the document can be dismissed, and a new division of assets will need to be determined by a judge.
These solicitors specialize in both making and defending against legal challenges to the document depending on the goals of their client. Let’s take a look at some important traits to look for in a will dispute lawyer.
Reliability and punctuality
It’s important that when you engage a legal consultant that they are highly attentive to your needs and make themselves available to you as often as reasonably convenient. The last thing you need is to hire a solicitor who is absent, neglectful and make you feel like they don’t really care.
If the will dispute lawyer you are working with is failing to adequately engage you at a frequency that conducive to your case, then you’re simply wasting your time and money with them. Do yourself a favor and look for a solicitor who is as active and eager as you are.
A talented will dispute lawyer will have excellent research skills so that they can collect and organize all the relevant precedential information they need to succeed in your case. This normally consists of past cases in which legal questions have already been answered by past rulings, giving a basis from which decisions can be justified.
Sometimes a higher tier solicitor will have their own team of legal aides who assist them in performing legal research. This kind of practitioner will cost you more but be able to produce results much quicker.
Of course, issues surrounding the work of a will dispute lawyer require them to be emotionally switched on and acknowledge what’s being said around them. They should be able to empathize with you and the situation you are going through whether you are defending or contesting a set of final wishes.
A will dispute lawyer is also going to need to have great communication skills. This enables them to effectively communicate with the opposing party, with the judge and with other relevant persons to advance your case.
Hopefully the above information will help you find an effective will dispute lawyer.