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Contesting A Will

Although a will is meant to be the last wishes of the deceased, there are times when the provisions within it can be found to be incorrect. This can be for a variety of reasons, and if you believe that a will you are named in (or not named in, come to that) is illegal, or that it is wrong, it is possible for you to challenge it. This is called contesting a will.

Although making a will is often the final word in the subject of where the deceased has chosen his or her estate, belongings, and property to go, there are times when it can be challenged. You may feel that you need to contest a will because you are sure that the provisions laid out within in do not accurately reflect what you know the deceased person would really want. It may be that there are problems within the family that the will writer has not taken in account, such as arguments, falling outs, and other disagreements.

Contesting a will is time consuming and can be expensive, and is not something that should be entered into lightly. However, if you are sure that you have a case, then it may be worth attempting; if the current will is ruled to be invalid, then it will no longer count. The will made before the most recent will then be used. If there is no other will, the rules of intestacy come into play.

There are two main reasons for contesting a will.

The first is that you feel the will was made under duress, or with coercion from another party. Perhaps your loved one was intimidated with threats or violence, or blackmailed into naming a certain person as beneficiary. There must be real evidence for this allegation to stand, and it is called demonstrating undue influence. You must be able to prove that the person writing the will would not have written what they did if not for the behaviour of a third party.

The second reason is that you feel that the deceased was not in the right mental capacity to create a will, and therefore could not and did not understand what they were doing. This is called proving a lack of testamentary capacity. The person making the will must be able to understand exactly what their estate is, and how much it is worth.

You cannot contest a will simply because you are not happy with what you have been left by the deceased.

If you believe that you need to contest a will, the please do contact us. We can help you, and give you all the advice you need to find out whether you have a valid case.

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