Challenging a Will or Trust is Hard, Why Do It?
Challenging a will or trust is very difficult. It is time consuming, expensive, and emotionally exhausting. Further, oftentimes you are indirectly (or directly) suing your sibling or someone else that you love dearly. Very few relationships can survive that. So, with all of that said, it seems like a very unappetizing thing to bite off for yourself—unless the price is right.
And while I will freely admit that how much inheritance is at issue is oftentimes a major driving force, it is almost always not the sole reason for challenging a will or a trust. In fact, I have had several cases where my client knew that they were going to spend more in attorneys’ fees than they would recover. So other than money, why would someone want to put themselves through the ordeal of challenging a will or a trust?
It is a very complicated issue but it is one that I have had personal experience with both as an attorney, but also as a client.
While money does not equal love, a will or trust is the last opportunity for someone to tell you how they feel about you. You could have had a miserable relationship with your parent, but if they leave you an equal share of their estate with your siblings, then the last message they have given you is that they love you equally with your siblings.
Conversely, if you have always had a wonderful relationship with your parent and took care of them in their frail old age only to be cut out of their will/trust—it would be a slap to the face.
As such, I find that most people challenge a will or a trust because they have had the last message from their loved ones either taken away or perverted in favor for someone else and that is simply not fair to either you or the deceased.
However, I caution all people to deeply think about whether the tattered relationships and monetary/emotional headaches are worth challenging the will or trust before engaging an attorney.