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Who can contest a will?

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You cannot simply contest a will because you are not happy with it, you must have a valid legal argument to contest a will.

There are 2 ways to contest a will:

  1. The will is invalid due to one or more of the following:
    • the formalities for a valid will were not carried out -  it was not signed and witnessed correctly;
    • the testatorOne who makes or has made a will; one who dies leaving a will. A testator is a person who makes a valid will. was unduly influenced by a third party to make the will;
    • the testatorOne who makes or has made a will; one who dies leaving a will. A testator is a person who makes a valid will. lacked mental capacity to make the will;
    • the testatorOne who makes or has made a will; one who dies leaving a will. A testator is a person who makes a valid will. lacked knowledge and approval of the will.
  2. You have a claim under the Inheritance (Provision and Family Dependants) Act 1975. The following categories of people can bring a claim against the deceased’s estateIn context of probate, the estate of a deceased person consists of all the property, whether real or personal, owned by the person at the time of death.  if they are not provided for sufficiently under the will, or where the deceased dies without a will and the rules of intestacy do not sufficiently provide for them:
    • the wife or husband of the deceased;
    • a former wife or former husband of the deceased who has not remarried;
    • a person who during the whole of the period of two years ending immediately before the date when the deceased died, the person was living – (1) in the same household as the deceased, and (2) as the husband or wife of the deceased.
    • a child of the deceased;
    • any person (not being 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 (not being a person included in the foregoing paragraphs of this subsection) who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased.

What to do?

If you suspect a will is invalid or if the rules of intestacy do not sufficiently provide for you, you should immediately consult a solicitor.

It is important to act quickly at the outset to prevent the estateIn context of probate, the estate of a deceased person consists of all the property, whether real or personal, owned by the person at the time of death. being administered in accordance with an invalid will or the rules of intestacy and the assets being dissipated.

Each case will have a unique set of facts which must be examined in detail before the likelihood of success can be determined.

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