My brother who was left out of dad's will is challenging it. What can we expect if we settle?
UPDATED: June 19, 2018
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This doesnt mean that you have to give him 50% of the estate as a settlement. You can consider how likely it is that he will win the challenge. Since it is both difficult and expensive to win a Will Contest, your brother may be willing to settle for a lesser sum in exchange for not having to bear the cost or take the chance of losing a challenge to the Will. Even if he wins, he will have to pay his own legal costs and the amount he receives will have been decreased by the legal costs the estate spent defending the Will. A moderate estate can be consumed by the costs of a Will challenge pretty quickly.
Because of all this, if the estate isnt really large you might offer as little as the lesser of $10,000 or 10% of the estate as a settlement.
What you offer as a settlement will depend on what you feel is fair and might involve the reasons why your father cut your brother out of the will in the first place. If your father had good reasons, you might not feel that you want to settle for giving your brother 50% of the estate. On the other hand, parents sometimes vacillate between kids, changing the Will repeatedly with one favored, then another. It thus becomes a matter of chance who is "in" the Will and who is "out" at the time of death. In such cases, even if lack of mental competence cannot be proven, the "moral" settlement may be something far closer to a 50-50 split.