If you are disputing a will on the grounds that you were financially dependent on the deceased and have a legitimate claim, you will at some point have to negotiate your case with the beneficiaries named in the will.
It is advisable to do this outside of court wherever you can. This is because court costs can often be high, particularly if the dispute runs on for a while. It is also generally much quicker and easier if you can come to a compromise solution between yourselves. This is easiest to do when the case is clear cut one way or the other. For example, if you were the cohabitee of the deceased but were left out of the will because it hadn’t been updated since you got together, then it should hopefully be fairly straightforward to make your case and deal with the beneficiaries. Likewise, if there are only very weak grounds for an inheritance claim, or it is clear that the will is definitely as it was intended to be at the time of the testator’s death, then it should hopefully be a fairly quick process to decide either way.
Another reason it is considered preferable to resolve will contest disputes between yourself and the beneficiaries when you contest a will is because it is often emotionally simpler to deal with. This is because to go through with court proceedings is a big step [you will probably have to give evidence personally and be cross examined.] and it ultimately puts the decision in the hands of a judge – so to come up with a palatable solution between you is ultimately best for everyone.
If you have hired a specialist solicitor to contest a will on your behalf, they will be invaluable in helping you through the negotiations with the other parties. This can involve all sitting down together with the documents you’ve assembled over the course of the proceedings to prove your case and then coming up with a solution.
There are also specialist dispute resolution services available to help you negotiate inheritance claims. They effectively act as a go-between or mediator for the different parties to help you resolve the issue with only minimal input from the courts where required. Where extensive court action can sometimes cause a an enormous and often irreparable rift to form in families, dispute resolution provides you with a platform where you can air your grievances but also act in the best interests of everyone present and in the context of the will laid down by the testator.
No one really wants to become involved in contesting probate and end up falling out with their friends or relatives, but having a solicitor or mediation service to help you deal with any contentious issues can be massively beneficial to all involved.
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