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How to contest a will: the do’s and dont’s

Judges hammer and books

Contesting a will is a complicated and sensitive issue but it’s a challenge that many people are faced with after a loved one has died. The act of disputing a will is where relatives and/or dependants feel they have not received enough (or perhaps anything at all) after a loved one’s death. In this instance, one can approach the court and contest their case.

Who can contest a will?

Typically, most wills are contested by family members with a direct blood relation to the deceased. Under the Inheritance Act, those listed as entitled to contest include a spouse or child. Former spouses and civil partners can also claim so long as they have not remarried.

However, someone who was financially dependent upon the deceased can also contest as can someone who is owed money; known as a debt claim.

Why contest a will?

Along with feeling your input to the will is not ample enough, there are other reasons for why you might contest a will such as undue influence when the will was written and a perceived lack of capacity of the will writer.

You might even feel a will is fraudulent or perhaps doubt it was witnessed correctly. These are all valid reasons for disputing a will.

How long do you have to contest a will?

Disputing a will after death is a complex area and according to the Inheritance Act, you only have 6 months from the date of issue of the grant of probate to contest. It’s therefore important to gain legal advice as soon as possible to ensure the claim is completed in time.

However, if you suspect a will of being fraudulent, there is no time limit; but still, the sooner the better.

If you’d like more information on contesting a will, call Flackwoods Solicitors today on 01403 738777 or email us at info@flackwoods.co.uk.

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