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Contested Wills and Inheritance Act Claims

Contested Wills and Inheritance Act Claims

Our specialist team are expert in assisting you with inheritance act and contested will claims.

A will can be contested on the basis of various grounds and can include the following;

  • Lack of valid execution
  • Undue Influence
  • Testamentary Capacity
  • Lack of Knowledge and Approval
  • Forged or Fraudulent Wills

 

Where the will has not been executed properly;

  • Any individual making a will must be over 18 years of age and of sound mind, this is known as testamentary capacity.
  • Any individual making a will must do so voluntary, know what the will says and without “undue influence”.
  • The Will must be signed by the person making the Will in the presence of two witnesses and then be signed by the two witnesses, in the presence of the person making the will, after s/he has signed.

Where someone has interfered with the making of the will and involves undue influence;

Often, at difficult time, when emotions are running high you may suspect that a will has been drafted due to the manipulative behaviour of another. This may rise to a claim.

In other circumstances, it may be found that a will has been changed to include a new beneficiary for example, or indeed to exclude someone or the size of their share of the estate.

Whilst it can be difficult to prove that the deceased’s decision making process in drafting the will was influenced in some way by another person the will could be proven to be invalid on the grounds of undue influence.

The will is considered to be a forgery or is fraudulent;

The Will may have been drafted by someone other the testator and forged the signature of the testator either before or after their death often to ensure that the estate is left to themselves without the deceased knowing.

Reasonable financial provision

You may have grounds to make a claim if you depended financially upon the person who has died but there has not been any provision made for you in the will.

Under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, the grounds on which you are entitled to make a claim include; normally, spouses or civil partners, cohabitants of two or more years, children, and people who can show they were being supported financially by the person.