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Contesting a Will

In some instances when a loved one passes away, the relatives left behind can strongly believe there is an error within the Will or that it has not been correctly executed. This may give rise to the Will being contested.

What are the grounds for contesting a Will?

The grounds for contesting a Will are as follows:

  • The person who created the Will lacked mental capacity at the time it was made
  • The Will has not been executed correctly
  • There has been undue influence on the wishes stipulated in the Will
  • The Will is fraudulent or forged
  • Lack of knowledge and approval

The first step to take when considering challenging a Will, or if you need to defend a challenge to a Will, is to take legal advice from a solicitor specialising in Wills & Probate. 

They will be able to confirm your grounds for defence or for contesting and can assist in the next step, which is known as lodging a caveat. This prevents the Will from being administered for a period of six months, providing an opportunity for the dispute to be resolved.

Challenging your inheritance from a Will.

Even if a Will is deemed to be valid, a claim may still be brought to challenge the level of financial provision it offers. Individuals may be entitled to do this under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

You are eligible to make a claim under this act if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You are the spouse/civil partner of the deceased
  • You are a former spouse/civil partner of the deceased who has not remarried or entered into a further civil partnership
  • You lived with the deceased for at least two years prior to their death as their husband or wife 
  • You are a child of the deceased
  • You are a person who was treated as the deceased's child in relation to a marriage to which the deceased was a party
  • You are a person who was being 'maintained' by the deceased prior to their death

There are also other criteria under the Act that need to be established in order to be successful in the claim.

There is a strict time limit of 6 months from the date of Grant of Probate for applications under this Act. In rare circumstances the Court can grant an extension to this time limit.

This is a very complex area of law and it is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. To discuss your options and requirements for contesting or defending a Will, we invite you to call us now on 0300 303 3629 or alternatively you can send us an enquiry using our contact form.

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