Why challenge a Will?

If you think a Will is unfair in some way, types of claim generally fall in to 3 areas: challenges against the validity of the will, claims under The Inheritance Act 1975 and disputes over the way the estate is managed. We recommend you speak to a legal adviser to determine the strength of your claim and the best way you should proceed.

Validity challenges:

  • The Will is invalid, forged, unsigned or unclear according to the Wills Act 1837
  • The Will is wrong or drafted inaccurately
  • The maker of the Will had lost mental capacity
  • The Will maker didn't know about or approve the Will
  • They experienced undue influence in some way when making or signing the Will
  • A Will has been lost

Claims under The Inheritance Act 1975 allow certain people to make a claim on the Estate for reasonable financial provision. The right to make a claim is regardless of the contents of the Will and people eligible to claim could be:

  • Spouses
  • Former Spouses who have not remarried
  • Children of the Deceased
  • Any person treated as a child of the deceased
  • Co-habitants
  • Other people maintained by the deceased

However, there are other reasons to dispute the Will like:

  • Interest Actions – where usually the deceased has died intestate (without a will) and there is a dispute as to who is entitled to apply for Representation to manage the estate. This can be where a relative doubts a relationship entitling someone to do so; like marriage validity.
  • Rectification – where perhaps someone has been left out of a Will and believes this to be because either a) there is some kind of clerical error or b) there is a complete failure to understand the Testator’s wishes.

You may also want to dispute the way an Estate is being managed. These types of dispute can often be resolved with a Solicitor’s letter but in some cases may result in taking legal advice to make an application to the Court to remove an Executor. Estate Management issues can often involve:

  • Executors who are administering or have administered the Estate incorrectly or fraudulently
  • Instances where your requests for information have been ignored
  • You are frustrated over the time it is taking
  • Lack of proper accounting
  • Stealing, wasting or mismanagement of Estate funds

There is also the possibility of bringing a negligence claim against the lawyer who drafted the will; either they did not plan the estate correctly and unexpected taxes have been charged or perhaps the will was just badly drafted, resulting in loss for beneficiaries. Either way, challenging the Will writer or lawyer who drafted the will could be a route open to you or anyone involved as the lawyer who originally drafted the Will should have insurance cover for any such eventuality.

Our trusted and experienced legal experts will be happy to have an initial no obligation conversation with you to identify how they can help you. 

Do I need professional help and how much might it cost?

We aim to find you the best professional support for your circumstances and payment methods can vary widely depending on your situation. Our legal partners can help you understand the best route for you to take as every circumstance can be different. Contact us now to find out how we can help

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