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7th December 2017

Can you Challenge a Will?

If you or a family member have been left out of a Will un-expectantly, or you stand to receive considerably less than anticipated, you may be considering whether you can challenge the Will.

 

The short answer is yes, you can challenge a Will. However it can be quite a lengthy, complex matter and there are many legal requirements that must be met.

 

When someone passes away their estate is distributed as per the wishes in their Will, or if the they did not have a valid Will, then the rules of intestacy apply. This may result in what appears to be an odd distribution of the estate, but if it is in accordance with the deceased’s wishes, a disappointed beneficiary may have difficulties contesting.

 

So; in order to contest the Will you would need to demonstrate that the Will does not reflect the true intentions of the person who made the Will, or, prove that the Will had not been executed correctly. If the validity of the Will can be questioned, then it may be contested.

The grounds on which a Will may be declared invalid include;

  • Invalid Execution: Was the Will written correctly, signed and witnesses?
  • Lack of Capacity: Did the deceased have the required mental capacity to make a Will, or make changes to their Will?
  • Fraud: Was the Will or the signature forged?
  • Influence: Has the person been forced, manipulated on co-erced into making their Will benefit a certain person or people?
 

These areas are rather complex and require specialist advice. If you would like further information about contesting an estate then please contact our experienced Dispute Resolution team on 01256 844888 or email enquiries@lambbrooks.com

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

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