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Contesting a will

Unjust _86916251A person can leave money or property to whomever they choose in their Will. However, sometimes a Will is challenged – this process is called contesting a Will. If you are concerned as to your entitlement under a Will, the following information will help you decide whether you have a case and could contest the Will.

Common reasons to contest a will include:

  1. The Will does not reflect the wishes of the deceased because it was drafted negligently or contrary to the instructions of the deceased, which might mean a claim against the solicitor who drafted it.
  2. The Will was signed under undue influence, for example the deceased was coerced into signing the Will.
  3. The deceased lacked the necessary mental capacity to sign or to give instructions for a Will, e.g. the person was suffering from dementia or a similar mental illness when the Will was made.
  4. The Will has been drafted and signed incorrectly, which is often a problem with homemade Wills.  Even if a Will is
    valid, you may be able to claim against the person who drafted the Will if they drafted it negligently.

Anyone can challenge a Will, but where you are claiming that reasonable financial provision hasn’t been made for you in a Will, or where there is no Will, then the following people only can apply:

  • the spouse or civil partner
  • a former spouse or civil partner - who has not remarried or formed a new civil partnership
  • children
  • step-children
  • a partner who lived with the deceased for more than two years
  • any other dependants

In this case you are not contesting the Will, but trying to vary what it says.

Why Choose us?

Owen White & Catlin have a number of solicitors and partners who have expertise in this area including Richard Land, our resident expert in Inheritance Act Claims. Richard regularly lectures for Central Law Training to other solicitors on this subject. He can provide comprehensive advice on how to contest a Will, who can claim, the bringing and defending of claims and what qualifies as a claim. In addition, the evidence required and the factors that are taken into consideration for the prospective Claimant as well as the responsibilities of executors and the dealing of the estate during the claim. We will not waste your time – we will not take forward your argument unless we believe you have a winnable case. Our detailed knowledge of the basis of claims and court procedure can lead to an early, negotiated conclusion, saving both cost and stress.

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