Contest A Will – Where To Start

Sometimes, it may be necessary to contest a Will. If you think the Will is invalid, or someone has not been provided for sufficiently in the Will then you can contest the Will. When a Will is created, to ensure its validity, a number of requirements are made. These include:

Their capacity. The person who made the Will, known as the testator, must have been capable of making a valid Will at the time when the Will was created.

To be capable of making a valid Will the testator must normally be aged 18 or over and must be of sound mind, memory and understanding. This boils down to the facts that a person must know and be aware of what they are doing when making their Will.

Typically, a Will must be in writing for it to be legally valid. It has to also be signed by or on behalf of the testator, and the signature must be made or observed in the presence of 2 witnesses who are present at the same time of the Wills creation.

Sometimes it may be felt that “inadequate provision” has been made by the deceased. It’s generally accepted that a person is entitled to leave their estate to whoever they want to. However, if their Will does not make a “reasonable financial provision” for certain classes of individuals then a Court has the power, under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, to make sure that they are provided for.

An application can be made to contest a Will under the Act by the following individuals if they have not been “adequately provided for” under the terms of a Will:

– A spouse or civil partner of the deceased;
– A former spouse or civil partner of the deceased who hasn’t remarried or entered into a new civil partnership
– A child of the deceased
– Any person (not a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any marriage to which the deceased was at any time a party, was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that marriage
– Any person who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, completely or partly, by the deceased
– Any person who lived in the same household as the deceased as the spouse of the deceased during the whole of the period of two years ending immediately before the date when the deceased died.

Unfortunately time is of the essence if contesting a Will is a route you want to take. You have 6 months from when the Grant Of Probate is made to take action. Contact Seatons today on 01536 276300 or use our online enquiry form