Losing a parent is emotionally straining, whether it was unexpected or not. As if this heartbreak of this loss weren’t enough, one of your siblings has taken issue with the will, particularly that the family home was left to all of the siblings, not the eldest—them.
Arguing that they helped your parent the most with repairs to the house and other finances, they believe that they should have been left the home outright. Your sibling promises to contest the will and leaves the family even more distraught.
Citing that your parent wasn’t in the right frame of mind when the will was signed and that they believe your parent was coerced, your sibling contests the will. This being your family home, you vow to do what’s right by your parent’s memory and take care of the house, despite who gets it in the end.
If you get the house, you promise to find the best homeowners insurance on the market, and to keep it open to your eldest sibling, despite their current behavior. Until then, here’s what to expect of the contesting proceedings:
Will Contest: The Unhappy Beneficiary
Contrary to popular belief, a last will and testament is not easily overturned. According to LegalZoom, “A last will and testament can only be contested during the probate process when there is a valid legal question about the document or process under which it was created.” On top of which, probate law stipulates that a will can only be contested by individuals mentioned in the will. If your eldest sibling was not mentioned in the will at all, they do not have grounds to contest the will.
However, if they’re named in the will and believe that your parent signed the document unaware that it was a will, the will could be successfully contested.
The property being contested in the will (in this case the family home) should still have a homeowners insurance policy on it, as your parent will have had a homeowners insurance plan paid through for a certain number of months. If your name was on the deed or homeowners insurance policy, you can continue to pay for homeowners insurance. If your name was not on the deed or the homeowners insurance and the will is contested, neither your or anyone else can enter the home until the court makes a decision.
This means the homeowners insurance will lapse, and signing up for a new policy once the litigation is over will be more expensive.
If your sibling threatens to contest the will, remind them that if the courts cannot come to a decision, the will and testament will be thrown out and the court will proceed to divide the property based on state intestacy laws. This could result in everyone losing the property.
After the court has reached their decision and if they have decided to uphold the will, you can figure out whether you keep your parent’s original homeowners insurance or find a plan of your own.
For a competitive look at homeowners insurance quotes and to find a policy that’s right for your family, visit CoverHound today.