02 June 2015
Why Contest a Will?
Contesting a Will means that you dispute what has been written by the deceased. There may be many reasons you wish to do this, but there are certain grounds to bear in mind.
You can't just say "I disagree" when it comes to someone's last wishes.
To Contest a Will you must believe one or more of the following:
The person who wrote the Will was under undue influence at the time of writing
This means that you think that when the Will was written, the person was being pressured by an external influence to write it in a certain way. You could also believe that a Will was altered under pressure at a later date.
The Will is invalid under the Wills Act
All Wills have to be signed, dated and witnessed when they are written. If you believe that this wasn’t the case then the Will would be invalid.
The person who wrote the Will had a lack of capacity
When a Will is written the person must be of sound mind and understand what they are doing. They need to be aware of what the Will actually means for their property and where it will be going after their death.
The Will is fraudulent
A Will has to be drawn up and signed by the person it states. If the Will has been written by someone else and the signature forged then this would make the Will fraudulent. Also if lies have been told to influence the writing or to alter a Will then it could render the Will invalid.
You are dependent on the deceased but have not been left anything
A claim can be made against the estate if you are dependent on the deceased but have not been left anything in their Will. The time limit for this type of contest is very short and you must fall into one of the Claimant Categories listed in the Inheritance Act.
If you believe any of the above then you may have grounds to contest the Will. You can also contest a Will if you have been promised something that has later not been left to you. You can lean more about this in our previous blog: What is Proprietary Estoppel?
Be aware that there are time limits on contesting a Will so you must be sure right away that you have a case.
For more information or expert legal advice on how to contest a Will, call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9056 or contact us online and we will call you.