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Can You Contest the Terms of a Will as its Executor?

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Did you agree to act as the executor of a trusted friend's estate, only to find that you have conflicting emotions following the event of their death? You may be unhappy with the content of the will, especially when it comes to provisions in your case, leading you to wonder what you can do about the situation. You don't want to be awkward or cause trouble in this scenario, but nevertheless, you want to ensure that your rights are taken care of. What can you do?


The job of an executor can be a challenging one. After all, they need to locate the will, deal with the death certificate and organise arrangements for the funeral. They will then handle all the financial matters, paying off debts until a net sum is left.

The value of the remaining estate will need to be distributed in accordance with the terms of the will, although it is certainly possible for somebody to dispute that will, for one reason or another. In this case, a claim could be made against the estate, and the executor is expected to defend that action as the representative.


This can be very awkward, as you can see in your case. You may have reason to dispute the will, as it is not laid out in accordance with an agreement you may have had with the deceased before their passing. They may have agreed to allocate a certain amount of their estate to you as some compensation for your duties as executor. Whatever the understanding you may have had, it's not reflected in the will as it is, and you may feel strongly enough that you want to contest.


In this case, you need to renounce your position as executor — ideally before you carry out any duties in this role. You need to seek a formal renunciation agreement with the Supreme Court in your state, and they will take it from there. Usually, they will appoint another beneficiary to take your place, or in some cases, they will hand the situation over to the state trustee. This will allow you to file a contest to the will and put your claim forward for consideration.

Moving Ahead

If you're unsure how to proceed and want to do things right, always work with a solicitor who offers estate litigation services. They will help you file paperwork in the right way and deal with any matters that arise.