Contested Probate : How To Contest a Will
We have a specialist team able to advise on all areas of contested probate matters. Typically, contested probate matters concern:-
Undue influence and fraud wills
These types of cases arise when the testator (the person making the will) is often pressured to make or alter their will, while fraud in wills can arise when signatures are altered or wills even destroyed.
Incorrectly executed wills
All Will’s must comply with the Wills Act, this means that the will must be signed, dated and witnessed by two independent witnesses, (neither of whom can be a beneficiary) at the same time as the person making the will.
Lack of capacity of the person making the will
The person making the will must have understood the nature of actually making the will, the extent of the property which he/she was disposing of and the claims to which he ought to give effect to. These principals where established in a very old case called Banks –v- Goodfellow. Will disputes are common when the testator may have been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
Claims for financial maintenance
These types of claims can be brought against the estate if it can be proven that the person making the claim was in someway financially dependent upon the deceased before he or she died. The time limit on these types of cases are very limited ( 6 months from the issue of the grant of probate/grant of letters of administration ) and therefore immediate legal help should be sought.
Other common will disputes arise when the Executor has acted unreasonably, or when the Deceased has made very clear promises of an inheritance, only to then disinherit or cut someone close to them out of their will. Alternatively, an executor may fail to disclose a copy of a will, if this is the case we can often intervene and ensure that you receive a copy of a will.
Time is often of the essence in contested probate, as assets can be disposed by unscrupulous Executor’s and therefore immediate legal help should be sought.
Need help Contesting a will ? or have a probate dispute ?
Call our probate helpline on: 0844 7400948
National Probate helpline Telephone: 0845 9011 686
Please note that Calls will cost 7p per minute plus your phone companys access charge