Family successfully challenged validity of Will

    Family successfully challenged validity of Will

    A family have won their legal battle to overturn their brother’s Will after it was found that the deceased, David Poole, did not know and approve the content of the Will.

    Suspicions were raised by the family when they were informed that the deceased had changed his Will shortly before he died. The new Will, created in December 2012, left 95% of his £1.1 million Estate to his carer. This was in stark contrast to his previous Will created just ten months earlier, in February 2012, which left 60% of his Estate to charity.

    The family fought a three year legal battle arguing that the deceased did not have the required capacity to create a Will and that even if he did, he did not know and approve of its content. The Will was created by the deceased’s carer using an online service.

    His Honourable Judge Cooke, deciding the case, was not satisfied that the deceased had insufficient capacity, as he had undergone medical assessment for his previous Will. However, he was able to find in favour of the family declaring the December 2012 Will invalid. This was on the grounds that the deceased did not know and approve its content as it was not clear that the deceased had read his Will before it was signed or that he understood its content.

    The Judge subsequently went on to find the February 2012 Will valid.

    It is noticeable that more and more cases are being brought through the Courts due to concerns over the validity of the deceased’s Will. Although it is never possible to guarantee that your Will will not be challenged after you are gone, this case highlights the importance of getting good quality legal advice when considering what will happen to your affairs after you are gone.

    If you need help or advice in relation to a Will dispute, please contact a member of the Dispute Resolution team.

    If you would like to prepare a Will or discuss your existing Will, please contact any member of our Wills & Probate team.

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