Contesting a Will
There are many reasons why you may choose to contest the will of a family member or loved one. Perhaps you feel you have been unfairly disinherited, or that the individual was not of sound mind at the time of making the will.
Whether you’re unhappy with what you have received or you suspect the will could be invalid, our team of experienced contentious probate solicitors at The Law House are on hand to help.
What is contentious probate?
When someone dies, their will goes through a process of probate to establish whether or not it’s valid. In legal terms, contentious probate is when there is a disagreement about the validity of someone’s will and the distribution of their estate after they have passed away. A person’s estate can include assets such as money, property and possessions.
A will can be contested in full or in part and is often a very complex and time consuming process. It can be contested either because the process of making the will did not abide by the law, or if any other evidence proves the will is invalid and does not accurately reflect the intent of the deceased.
What are the reasons for contesting a will?
A common reason why someone may wish to challenge a will is if the person who made the will, also known as the testator, did not have adequate testamentary capacity. In other words, they lacked the legal or mental capacity to make a will and were not of sound mind at the time.
Other reasons include if the testator was subject to fraud or undue influence, the will was not executed properly with the correct legal formalities, or there was a lack of knowledge and approval of the contents of the will. If you can cite one of these reasons and have compelling evidence to back it up, you may have grounds to make a claim.
Who is eligible to contest a will?
A will can be legally contested under the Inheritance Act 1975 if the deceased has failed to provide enough financial provision for a dependent. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that you are only eligible to contest a will if you are a beneficial interest in the deceased’s estate. This normally includes surviving spouses, former spouses, children, a cohabitee or another type of dependant, such as someone who was financially supported by the deceased or treated as though they were a child of the family.
How should I go about contesting a will?
Contesting a will can be a tricky process, which is why it’s important to seek professional advice from a solicitor as soon as possible. The case will need to be fully investigated and a caveat put in place to temporarily prevent the probate from going ahead and the estate being distributed.
It’s also worth remembering that there may be time constraints when contesting a will, starting from as little as six months from the date of the grant of probate.
How we can help
At The Law House, we understand that dealing with issues surrounding wills can be a sensitive and stressful matter. Our team of experienced solicitors are trained to deal with claims in a sympathetic way to minimise worry and can guide you through every step of the process with specialist legal advice.
So if you feel that you’ve been incorrectly left out of a will, or need other advice in regards to contesting a will, please don’t hesitate to contact us today for an initial consultation on 020 3150 2525 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.