21 December 2015
Top 5 Things People Contest in a Will
Join us as we count down the top five reasons behind arguments over wills.
5. Living Arrangements
Kicking off our countdown is the issue of living arrangements. The argument about whether someone can continue to live in a deceased person’s property is a delicate one. If you inherit part of a property you must make joint decisions with the other owners about what you want to do with it.
Arguments start when one person wishes to continue to live there and the other wants to either sell the property or rent it out.
You’d be surprised the volume of cases we get asked to work on where the original lawyer was negligent in drafting the will. This is why it is important to get an expert to assist writing your will first time around. Failure to do so might result in the people you hold closest having to contest a will with mistakes or make a claim against the negligent writing of a will.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers can help you to write your will properly the first time around. Our specialist wills and probate solicitors have a vast amount of experience and offer both flexible pricing and fixed fees.
In at number three is arguing that a will has been forged. This is when people try to cheat their way to riches by fraudulently editing a will giving them a bigger share of assets.
Wills have been forged in a number of different ways in the past. One is simply by forging a signature on an amendment to a will. Another is taking advantage of someone without the capacity to fully understand what they are signing, by getting them to sign an alteration to their will and then backdating the update by faking the date on the form.
People will argue over the validity of a will when there is a question over the mental capacity of the author.
Mental capacity is a very difficult and sensitive thing to judge. It is even harder to assess if someone fully understood their actions once they’ve passed away.
Challenging a will over mental capacity is a highly complex process so you should speak with a contentious probate solicitor if you plan on doing so.
1. Estate Share
Topping our list is contesting a share of the estate. People contest the amount of an estate they have received in a will when they either need or want a larger share. This is especially the case when they are left with nothing from the will or when they are not mentioned in the will.
Often we hear from surviving family members suffering hardship because their relative failed to change a will they wrote years before they started a family or their personal circumstances altered significantly. This is why it is important to update your will whenever your circumstances change.
If you have been left out of a will the contentious probate solicitors at Slater and Gordon can help you. For expert legal advice, call us on freephone 0800 223 0079 or contact us online.