Challenging a will
8th April 2016
If a loved one has died, and you are concerned about the validity, contents or fairness of their will then you may decide to challenge the will during the process of probate.
Common reasons for challenging a will include:
- concerns that a will has not been properly drafted or executed. If the signature does not match the deceased’s usual signature, or if the will was not witnessed properly it may be invalid;
- family members may challenge a will where they believe that the person making the will was not in sound mind;
- suspicion of fraud that a will may have been destroyed or altered after it was made;
- concerns that the deceased was vulnerable to undue influence and pressurised into making or changing their will;
- where a dependent has not benefited in the way they anticipated, then they may have an inheritance claim;
- disputes can arise where the deceased has chosen to exclude family members from their will; or
- where the deceased left a substantial proportion, or all of their estate, to a charity.
All of these situations can be tricky and may cause unrest amongst the family. However, if you suspect that a will is not valid or you wish to challenge its fairness you will need to take action quickly, to avoid the assets of the estate being distributed.
For advice on challenging a will or making a dependency claim contact Tim Newsome.
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice, and 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.