How to Contest a Will – Call: 0845 218 1361
If you believe, your loved one’s Will is not what he or she intended, there are several things that you can do legally. Subsequently, to their death, you have discovered that you were not happy with a Will, or that the Will they made is missing, has been destroyed, or is legally invalid. Whatever your situation, we may be able to help. This page will explain how to contest a Will via an experienced probate solicitor on a genuine No-Win, No-Fee basis.
Before discovering how to contest a Will, you should satisfy yourself that:
- You are an eligible person to do so
- You have grounds to make a claim
You may wish to speak to one of our specialists who will be able to guide you through the process of how to contest a Will and introduce you to an experienced solicitor who will fight to claim your inheritance on a No-Win, No-Fee basis. Call 0845 218 1361 to make a claim with zero financial risks or alternatively complete the form opposite and we will contact you.
Only an 'eligible person' such as a child, spouse or dependant of the deceased is able to contest a Will. If you are able to agree with just one of the following statements then you may be eligible to make a claim:
- You are the 'next of kin' or sole living relative (a child, person who was treated as a 'child of the family', spouse, former spouse, civil partner, former civil partner or blood relative), friend or acquaintance of the deceased
- Prior to their death, you were a dependant of the deceased or were treated as such
- Prior to their death, you were a cohabitee of the deceased for at least 2 years
- Prior to their death, you were in receipt of maintenance from the deceased immediately before their death
- You are named as a beneficiary in the Will but have not received your entitlement
- You have been named in any Will made by the deceased, even if it was not the last Will they completed
- You were promised by the deceased that you would be a beneficiary of the Will but you were not
- The deceased gave you money, bought you presents and/or paid for your lifestyle or upkeep (in part or in full) during their lifetime
- Prior to their death, the deceased resided in England or Wales
- Fewer than 6 months have passed since the Grant of Probate was issued
- The deceased's estate has a value exceeding £50,000
- You have sufficient grounds for bringing a case (see below)
- The deceased did not leave a Will and are you are a blood relative of theirs
Whilst this page is only relevant to situations whereby a) the deceased was a resident of England or Wales and b) the Will is subject to the jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts, it is of no importance to us where you are located. We have administered claims for many clients resident in Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many more countries.
Of primary importance in knowing how to contest a Will is establishing whether or not there exist sufficient grounds for doing so. A selection of frequently contested grounds include:
- A dependency (financial or otherwise) of a beneficiary upon the deceased is not reflected in the Will
- It is suspected that the Will will be found to be legally invalid
- A Will that you believe exists has been destroyed or is missing
- Fraud is suspected to have taken place during the making of the Will
- The deceased died without making a Will (Intestate)
- You have received nothing or insufficient despite what you were promised
- The deceased had a diminished mental capacity when the Will was written
- There are moral issues that should be considered by the court
- A 'serial beneficiary' is suspected of being named as a beneficiary in the Will
- A 'third party beneficiary' such as a charity has been named as a beneficiary in the Will
Call 0845 218 1361 to make a claim with zero financial risk or alternatively complete the form opposite and we will contact you.
Many complex factors are considered by a solicitor when deciding the likely outcome of a case. Such factors will determine on what a court will base their decision and typically include:
- Any obligations to you (or any other beneficiaries) that the deceased had prior to their death
- Your dependance on and relationship with the deceased prior to their death
- Your (and any other beneficiaries') financial position
- Any disability or special need that you or a dependant of yours may have
- The length of any marriage or civil partnership with the deceased
- Your and the deceased's ages prior to their death
- Your responsibility for any children or adopted children of the deceased
- The value and likelihood of any anticipated proceeds of a divorce settlement had the deceased's death not occurred
- Whether the Will was completed in a valid manor in accordance with prevailing legislation
- Whether the Will was completed fraudulently
- Whether the deceased promised that you would be a beneficiary in the Will
- Whether you were named as a beneficiary in the last Will of the deceased
- Whether you were named in any Will completed by the deceased, even if it was not the last Will
- Whether the deceased gave you money, bought you presents and/or paid for your lifestyle or upkeep (in part or in full) during their lifetime
- Whether the deceased left a Will and whether you are a blood relative of the deceased
Is the Will valid?
In order for a Last Will and Testament (a legal declaration by which the testator names one or more people to manage their estate and provides for the distribution of their property upon their death) to be considered legally valid, the person making the Will (the Testator) must, when the Will was made, have met all of the following conditions:
- Made the Will voluntarily and without undue influence from another person
- Made the Will in writing
- Signed the Will in the presence of at least two witnesses (both aged 18 years or older) who in turn signed the Will in the presence of the Testator
- Been aged 18 years or older (however there can occasionally be exceptions to this rule)
- Been of sufficient mental capacity to understand what they were doing and its implications for their estate upon their death
If any of the above criteria have not been met, then you may have grounds to bring a claim on the basis that the Will is invalid.
What is Probate?
The term 'probate', when used in relation to the affairs of a deceased person, usually refers to the legal process whereby their assets are assessed and, following various legal and fiscal processes, distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate. Technically the term 'probate' has a particular legal meaning, but it is generally used within the English and Welsh legal profession as a term to cover all procedures concerned with the administration of a deceased person's estate. As a legal discipline, the subject is vast and requires specialist knowledge and experience to be navigated successfully.
There are many misconceptions surrounding this complex area of the law – For example it is commonly thought that a 'Will' was historically limited to property, but a 'testament' on the other hand referred to personal effects; however it is now believed that the terms have been used interchangeably over time meaning that the word 'Will' validly applies to both property and personal effects. A will can also be used to create a testamentary trust that is effective only after the death of the testator – For example when leaving an inheritance for a child but wishing to control the terms of disbursement.
Are there time limits?
Yes. The law imposes time limits on bringing a claim to a court which typically begins to count down from the moment the Grant of probate is issued. Additionally, the court may not look favourably upon delays in bringing a case and furthermore cases brought late may be complicated by the distribution of the estate has already taken place. If you feel that you have a valid claim, we, therefore, advise you to take action without delay.
Why are Wills contested?
Disputes can arise the following somebody's death resulting from misunderstandings as to how the family feels that the deceased's estate should be distributed and who should have control over it.
How can Going Legal help you?
Going Legal is able to introduce you to an experienced Solicitor who will act for you on a genuine no-win, no-fee basis. Probate law is complex and requires experience and knowledge in order to navigate it successfully. Our expert specialists will quickly be able to evaluate your case, guide you through the process of how to contest a Will and introduce you to an experienced solicitor who will work for you on a genuine No-Win, No-Fee basis.
We have been established for over 20 years, during which time we have been successful in recovering over £30,000,000.00 on behalf of our clients. Our experience and expertise means that we are able to take complex, difficult cases, while still providing a genuine No-Win, No-Fee service.
Call 0845 218 1361 to make a claim with zero financial risks or alternatively complete the form opposite and we will contact you.