Grounds for Contesting a Will: Do You Have a Case?

Contesting a will can be a complex and unsettling process at the best of times. However, the most important step towards successfully contesting a will is establishing whether or not you have a valid case in the first place.

By law, a final will and testament must represent a clear, complete and valid account of the deceased party’s wishes. It must specify precisely how their estate and assets should be distributed, following their death.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a will to contain any number of discrepancies, or be open to interpretation in a variety of ways. For various reasons, you may feel it your right or even your obligation to contest a will, despite the sensitivity of the situation.

With this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of just a few common reasons for contesting a will, which may help you determine whether or not you have a valid case:

Grounds for Contesting a Will – Undue Influence

If you believe that the deceased party was forced, coerced or influenced unfairly at any time when writing their will, it’s important to seek legal advice as early as possible. Sadly, it is commonplace for individuals writing a will – particularly older and vulnerable parties – to be deliberately misled and unfairly influenced in the process. Selecting and presenting evidence of undue influence can be challenging, calling for expert legal support from the earliest possible stage.

Grounds for Contesting a Will – Fraud and Forgery

It is also far from uncommon for a final will and testament (in full or in part) to be forged. Fraudsters are known for taking advantage of individuals in vulnerable positions, writing and signing important documents without the authorisation of the named party. It’s important to remember that anything added to or amended in a will without the authorisation of the individual concerned could invalidate the entire document.

Grounds for Contesting A Will – Lack of Testamentary Capacity

Under UK law, only an individual who is of sound mind is legally entitled to produce a formal will and testament. They must fully understand the value and nature of their estate, be aware of the decisions they are making and make informed decisions regarding who is included and excluded in their will. If you believe that the will was produced (in full or in part) by an individual who was not in sound mind at the time, you may have grounds for a case.

Grounds for Contesting A Will – Lack of Knowledge and Approval

As a final will and testament can be a complex document, some hire third parties for assistance, or enlist friends and family in the process. In doing so, they hand over a great deal of power and responsibility. Where additional parties are involved in the drafting of a will, it is perfectly possible for the signatory to agree to any number of terms they are unaware of, or simply do not understand. If anything in the document was agreed to without the knowledge and approval of the signatory, this is considered grounds for contesting a will.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the validity of a will or how to contest a will, contact a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors anytime.


Stay Up To Date With Our Latest News

Got a question?

We are glad that you preferred to contact us. Please fill our short form and one of our friendly team members will contact you back.





    Request a call


    X

    Covid-19 business update: We are still open for business

    We’d like to take this opportunity to reassure you and our loyal clients that Aristone are operating as usual following Government guidelines.

    We have made changes to ensure that we can continue to provide you with the high quality services you expect from us. Our staff have been briefed and we have put the appropriate measures in place to assist with mitigating any risks. Our contingency plans are robust and have been proved to be effective over the last few weeks, and we continue to deliver our services to you.

    Learn more about our exclusive services we offer to businesses impacted by Covid-19:

    Terms and Conditions*:

    • In order to be eligible for the offers, you must instruct us using
      the same email address used during the sign- up for the newsletters.
    • The email address must remain the same and used to liaise until the matter closure.
    • You will be eligible for a 10% discount on your total conveyancing costs, once you sign our client care letter.
    • You will be eligible for a Free Will only when your conveyancing matter file is closed and the bills for the same are cleared.
    • Though Aristone carry out regular checks to confirm your eligibility, this may not always be practicable or possible and consequently we urge all clients to claim their free Will and 10% discount off Conveyancing fees by emailing the appropriate case handler with a print screen of the news letter subscription.
    • Subscribe to our newsletter for a FREE WILL, and get 10% off Residential conveyancing fees*,