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    Contesting a will

    If you believe a loved one has left a will that does not accurately reflect their wishes or have concerns about the way the document was created, it is important to understand the circumstances. Our specialist team can help you understand the terms of the will and take any action necessary.

    You may decide you want to challenge a will because:

    • you have been omitted
    • you have not been left as much as you need
    • the will is not accurate

    Due to the legal requirements to create a valid will, there are many ways a will can be found to be invalid.

    As an executor appointed under a will, it is important to check that the will is valid. Likewise, if you are a named person due to benefit from the will/estate, it is important that you understand the inheritance you are due to receive and confirm that the will was created correctly.

    What are the grounds for contesting a will?

    • Lack of testamentary capacity - mental capacity
    • Undue influence
    • Lack of valid execution
    • Lack of knowledge and approval
    • Fraud or forgery
    • Rectification and construction claims

    If you are an executor, it is important to check that the will was created correctly, having been signed and witnessed in accordance with the law. It is also necessary to consider whether the person had the appropriate understanding (capacity) to create a will at the time it was signed, as well as confirming that the person understood their will and that the will reflected their wishes.

    Depending on the individual circumstances of each case, there may be certain time limits for challenging a will. You should, therefore, seek legal advice as soon as possible.

    Contesting a will vs Inheritance Act claim

    Contesting a will is not the same as an Inheritance Act claim. Inheritance Act claims are claims that are brought by relatives or dependants of the deceased because they believe they have not been adequately provided for.

    How we can help you

    Our will dispute solicitors can give you expert legal advice on:

    • Establishing whether the will is invalid
    • Establishing whether the will accurately reflects a person’s wishes
    • Understanding the contents of a will
    • Confirming whether the will was created at a time a person had adequate capacity
    • Understanding if you need to be concerned that the person who prepared the will did so as a result of undue pressure having been applied on them
    • Defending a will, whether you are the executor of the estate or the beneficiary

    Our experience

    • Successfully settling a claim brought by a daughter excluded from her mother’s farming estate
    • Acted on behalf of beneficiary in a claim by a daughter excluded from her father’s estate
    • Successfully settling a capacity claim brought by step-daughter against her step-mother’s estate
    • Advising executors on a capacity and mutual will claim being brought against the estate

    For legal advice on contesting a will

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