Though one of the worst-case scenarios when a loved one dies is that they leave you without a Will, the opposite can be just as problematic. When there are many Wills left by the deceased, there can be a problem in deciding which one is most valid.
Why Would Your Family Member Have More Than One Will?
Your loved one could have multiple Wills for a few reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Execution of New Will.
The reason why they would execute a new will would be, for example, to simply create a more comprehensive and easy-to-understand document, if their previous Will contained too many revisions.
With Conflicting Wills, Which Will Is Considered Valid?
In most cases with conflicting wills, the valid Will is often the most recent one. If there is any issue, the matter might be resolved in what is known as Probate Court. Once this Will is decided within this court, the Will chosen is considered the “last Will and Testament” and all previous Wills and revisions are revoked.
If there are challenges to this will they will need to be made before the Probate Court’s final decision.
Some valid reasons for contesting the use of the final version of the Will include the following.
- There exists a belief that the Will is a forgery
- In a similar vein, the Will was written under coercion/undue influence.
- Another good reason is that there’s a suspicion of the validity of the Will itself.
- The testator (i.e. the family member who subsequently dies) updates their Will when not in the right mind.
- For example, if they have Dementia.
It is difficult to prove that the latest version of a Will was made either under false pretences or not in the right mind. It is up to you or your lawyer to compile the necessary evidence in advance to help you win your case.
When Happens if There Are Challenges to This Will?
What happens when a Will is contested is that it will need to be taken to court. If you need help with challenging a Will UK, it is always best to seek out legal advice first. Going in without a reasonable chance of winning could result in a huge personal financial loss. By choosing instead to find solicitors who offer a contesting a will No Win, No Fee service, you can ensure you have a good case against the latest Will and can win.
How Can You Avoid This Confusion?
A good way to help family members avoid such confusion and trauma through an estate is to destroy all previous versions of the Will you may have. You can also write “Void” on them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be of use to contest your last Will and Testament. Therefore, it’s best to avoid the situation entirely by removing previous Wills from the equation.
If your family members do contest your final Will, they will need to take it up with the courts and prove not just their relationship, but their dependency on your financials. By removing all other Will revisions from the equation, however, you should be able to safely and successfully have your wishes brought to fruition.