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Contesting a Will Resources

Will disputes have become more prolific in recent years, partly due to the increase in complex family arrangements and the increase in property values.

There are broadly speaking two types of claim that may arise:

  • First, someone who is a disappointed may be able to challenge the validity of the Will.
  • Second, even if the Will is valid they may be able to bring a claim if the Will does not make a “reasonable financial provision” for them, which can give rise to a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.

This section deals with the first of these two basis of challenge.  For information regarding claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 please follow this link.

There are several grounds upon which the validity of a Will can be challenged.  These grounds are as follows:

  • The Will may not comply with the necessary formalities;
  • There may be mistakes in the Will;
  • The person making the Will (the “testator”) may not have had had “testamentary capacity” when the Will was made;
  • The testator may not have known or approved of the terms of the Will.  In other words, they may have signed the Will but not understood what they were signing.
  • The testator may have been subject to undue influence or coercion and did not therefore act under their own free will;
  • The Will may be a forgery;

If a validity challenge is successful, the Deceased’s previous Will takes effect or, in the event that there was no prior Will, the intestacy rules will apply.

Our Dispute Resolution team have extensive experience in both pursuing and defending all types of validity challenge and regularly act for both Claimants and Estates in the High Court.  We will aim to identify your goals and the most effective ways of achieving your aims at the outset of your case.   We will try to resolve your case without the need for court proceedings wherever possible and we are skilled in all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (including mediation).

How to Make a Will

How to Make a Will

Making a Will is commonly associated as something you do in later life however, in reality anyone over the age of 18 can have a Will and we would strongly recommend it to anyone with children.

To help you get started, here are a few things you should think about when making a Will.

Challenging a Will

Challenging a Will

We know that challenging a will can be a really stressful and emotional time so in this video our Head of Dispute Resolution, Rob Stubbs, covers the options available to you. This includes how you can challenge the validity of a will and your options under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act.

What is Contentious Probate, and how does it affect me?

What is Contentious Probate, and how does it affect me?

Losing a loved one is always difficult, but it can be especially hard in cases where disputes arise in relation to their Will or Estate.

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