A bequest is a personal property transfer that’s effected through a written will. A real property transfer is known as a devise. With a bequest, the testator (will creator) provides instructions as to how and when the heir can take possession of the property. For instance, a testator may stipulate that a child may receive a sum of money if he or she graduates from high school. Bequests can depend on fulfillment of a certain condition, or they can depend on a future event. Due to their personal nature, bequests are often challenged in court, leaving a Probate Attorney in Bremerton, WA, to protect his or her client’s legal rights.
Common Bequest Challenges and Disputes
Some of the most common bequest disputes are:
* Disputes between those who think they’re entitled to a piece of property
* Disputes regarding the amount of an inheritance
* Disputes over which pieces of property an heir is entitled to
* Confusion over will instructions
* Disputes over conditional bequests
For example, a bequest recipient may challenge a requirement that they finish high school before receiving a gift. These disputes highlight the need for bequests to be written clearly as they’re included in the will.
Resolving a Bequest Dispute
Disputes are handled in probate court proceedings, which can take time. The court has to review documents, assets and real property that are disputed, but in most cases the court will adhere to the will’s conditions as they’re written.
However, in some instances, courts may need to revise parts of the will if it’s nonsensical or leads to an illogical distribution. The way a bequest is decided may depend on court interpretation and other factors, and a damage award may be issued if a party suffers losses because of a dispute.
Hiring a Lawyer for Bequest Help
Bequest disputes are very complex, especially if multiple people are involved or there’s substantial property under dispute. A person may want to hire a probate attorney in Bremerton, WA if they need to challenge a bequest, or if they have legal questions.