Q. My mum died last year and her local solicitor is dealing with the estate. I have just got a letter telling me that she has left me a gift of £10,000 in her Will and nothing else. I know she had about £50,000 in her bank accounts and apparently that’s all going to her boyfriend. She didn’t even give me her jewellery. I am her only child so I’m sure I should get more than that. My husband says I have a good case, how do I contest the Will?
A. While it is understandably difficult for you to see your mum’s assets go to her partner rather than to you, she had every right to do this. Anyone can challenge a Will but there are only certain categories of people who are likely to be considered by a Court. They must then prove that they have been inadequately provided for in the Will.
On the assumption that you are over 18 and capable of earning a living, your mum was not under a duty to provide for you in her Will. Given that she has left you a gift which represents over 15% of the estate on the figures you have mentioned, unless you were financially dependent on your mother before she died, it is unlikely that a Court would find in your favour.
If you have any reason to doubt your mum’s mental capacity at the time she put the Will in place, you could try to challenge the Will on that basis. This is notoriously difficult to prove, particularly if a solicitor prepared the Will as they will have been under a strict duty to assess her capacity and understanding of the documentation before she signed it.
In relation to your mum’s jewellery, again you do not have any right to her personal items. Have you spoken to her partner about this? If your mum left the jewellery to him, he may understand the sentimental value of these items to you, and allow you to select something that belonged to her.
Contact us about our Inheritance & Welfare Team who can advise you today.
Please call 0800 916 9055, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Wills and Probate Specialists operate across the country and can offer immediate and accessible representation anywhere in the UK.By Ciara Hannawin, Inheritance & Welfare Expert.