How to contest a will

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A claim contesting a Will is not a means to assist a person who believes they have been wrongly or unfairly left out of a particular Will. Instead, claims such as these may be brought under the Inheritance Act 1975 (Provision for Family & Dependents).

Rather, challenging a Will is a process by which the validity of a particular Will can be called into to question and scrutinised. These contentious probate claims are generally brought by persons who suspect that the legal requirements for a validly executed Will have not been fulfilled.

Generally, the most common grounds for contesting a will include circumstances where the person making the Will;

  • Was unable to appreciate what they were doing, perhaps because of some disorder of mind;
  • Did not follow the procedural requirements when signing the will;
  • Did not know and approve the contents of the will, perhaps because they did not appreciate what the will said;
  • Was subjected to undue influence by a third party, which coerced them into making the will;
  • Was a victim of fraud and forgery.

These grounds are not exclusive. The facts and circumstances which may give rise to a legitimate cause for concern in relation to a deceased’s Will are numerous and varied. It is quite common for the concerning circumstances surrounding the preparation and execution of a particular Will to cross over between two or more of the grounds for the challenge as set out above.

How to contest a Will – your next steps to obtaining advice

The first step when challenging a Will is to complete and submit a Contentious Probate Instructions form. This will help ensure that we have all of the information on your Will dispute that we need to provide you with initial advice in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible.

The form can be completed and submitted to us online or, if you prefer, you can print off the form, complete it by hand and either post, fax or scan and email it to us. Full instructions for this are included on the form, and further details can be seen in the panel.

If for some reason you are unable to complete and return the form or email us, we are happy to provide you with an initial free telephone consultation to make a preliminary assessment of your matter. Please call us on 0333 888 4040 for further information.

Alternatively, you can e-mail your enquiry to us at providing a summary of the issues, along with your contact details.

Once received, a member of our contentious probate team will review your form or email before contacting you, possibly for an initial free telephone consultation.


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