Dealing with a narcissist isn’t easy at the best of times, but having to handle one while you’re trying to resolve a Will dispute can prove incredibly tricky…
When a loved one passes away, the last thing you will want to deal with is a dispute over the terms of their Will, or the way in which their Will is being executed. Unfortunately, Will disputes are surprisingly common, with family members and loved ones butting heads with one another to secure what they believe to be a fair outcome.
Contested probate matters can often be resolved quickly and efficiently if the relevant parties are willing to cooperate with one another and understand how to reach a positive outcome that is everyone’s best interests. That can be easier said than done though, especially where you have to deal with a narcissist at the same time.
That’s where this post should come in useful! Read on to learn more about how you can handle a narcissist when it comes to estate litigation.
What is a Narcissist?
A narcissist is someone who generally has an inflated sense of their own self-importance. They seek excessive attention and often lack a sense of empathy for others and their feelings.
Narcissism is a trait, but in some cases it can also be a part of a personality disorder (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).
The potential signs of narcissism could include a general sense of entitlement, manipulative behaviour, a need for admiration, a lack of empathy and general arrogance.
Why Might a Will be Contested?
There are several reasons why someone may launch a Will dispute. The main reasons centre around the following:
- Lack of testamentary capacity – the person writing the Will (the testator) did not have sufficient mental capacity when writing the Will.
- Lack of due execution – there was a failure to meet the necessary formalities when writing the Will, such as it not being signed or witnessed correctly.
- Lack of knowledge or approval – the testator did not understand the contents or meaning of their Will.
- Undue influence – there was a pressure on the testator to make a Will or make changes to the Will.
- Fraud or forgery – the Will was created fraudulently, or a signature was forged.
Understand Narcissism and Narcissistic Behaviours
If you want to find a positive resolution to a Will dispute that involves a narcissist, it is important to first understand what a narcissist is and what sort of behaviours they’re likely to exhibit.
Once you understand why they might react in a certain way, or why they might take certain actions that would seem counterproductive, you’ll soon start to learn how to adjust your own behaviour and actions to increase the likelihood of finding a positive resolution.
It’s important to note that not all narcissists will be completely identical, and there are likely to be certain personality quirks that also effect how they behave. But, if you’ve got a general understanding of what to expect, this should put you in a much better position.
Gather as Much Evidence as Necessary
This is true in any scenario, regardless of whether you are dealing with a narcissist. Will disputes can be complicated affairs and the consequences for being on the wrong end of a decision can have a long-lasting impact.
It’s therefore crucial that you take every step to gather as much evidence as you can that can be used to help prove your side of proceedings. This can be used to either demonstrate why a Will should either be contested or upheld, depending on your position, and will be irrefutable for even the most difficult narcissist.
Speak to a Legal Professional
Will disputes, and contested probate in general, can be incredibly complicated affairs, with the stakes often being very high. If you’re dealing with narcissist at the same time, you may be running the risk of becoming extremely overwhelmed and unable to enforce your side of proceedings.
So, why not take the initiative and speak to a legal professional, such as a solicitor who specialises in contested probate? They’ll be able to review your situation, assess the details regarding the disputed Will and advise you on your all of your available options.
They’ll also be able to negotiate with the other side on your behalf, saving you the hassle, and if court proceedings are required, they’ll be able to provide you with robust representation.
Be Open and Willing to Listen (Within Reason)
This may be the most difficult step to follow, but you may need to be patient during a Will dispute with a narcissist. This means being open and willing to listen to their side of things, even if you don’t necessarily agree with what they’re saying.
Only by doing this can you get some understanding of their viewpoint, which could help you to find a more amicable agreement that suits your interests and appeases them.
Of course, this is all within reason. You shouldn’t be tempted to simply try and settle for an outcome you don’t agree with simply because it is more convenient to do so.
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
When you’re at odds with someone over contested probate, it’s up to you to find workable solutions before you consider heading to costly and time-consuming court proceedings.
It would be very beneficial to engage in various Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation, arbitration or Constructive Negotiation, which will help to reduce any unnecessary conflict and increase the chances of reaching a positive resolution.
In this post, we’ve discussed some of the best ways you can deal with a Will dispute with a narcissist which should help you to secure the outcome you’re looking for. There’s no denying that going through such a process is incredibly difficult and will present plenty of challenges, but keeping these pointers in mind should help to streamline the process.
Have you got any other tips for dealing with a narcissist in these scenarios? If so, feel free to leave a comment below!
Additional resources and further reading:
- How many types of narcissism are there?
- How to be selfless and competitive at the same time?
- How do narcissists act, love, and break up?
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