Contesting a Will

When a person makes a Will they are entitled to leave their Estate to whomever they wish. In certain instances, contesting a Will is allowed. You can only challenge a Will once the person who has made the Will has died.

There are several reasons why a Will may be contested:

Lack of valid execution 

For a Will to be valid it must be validly executed, the Deceased must have signed the Will and that signature must have been witnessed by at least two witnesses, in the presence of the Deceased. The witnesses must also sign the Will in the Deceased’s presence.

Lack of "testamentary capacity"

A (testator) person making a Will must be capable of making a valid Will at the time it is made. This means that they must be aged 18 years or over and must be of sound mind, memory and understanding. The Testator must be capable of understanding the nature of his/her acts and its effect and the extent of the property which they are disposing under the Will. She/he must also be aware of those who they would morally be expected to provide for and must not be suffering from a medical condition which would affect their decision.

Lack of Knowledge and Approval

The Court must be satisfied that the Testator knew and approved the contents of the Will when it was executed. 

Lack of Testamentary Intention

A document purporting to be a Will is only valid as a Will it if was intended by the maker to operate as a Will. Without this required Testamentary Intention by the person making the Will the document will not operate as a Will.

Fraudulent and forged wills

Fraud invalidates a Will on the basis that the mind of the testator did not go with the document they signed.

Undue influence

The court will declare the Will as invalid if it was the result of actual undue influence.  If a Testator is coerced or forced into making a Will, the Court may set aside the Will either fully or in part.

Pearson Solicitors can advise you on any potential action. If you have any concerns regarding a Will you should act without delay.

Latest Inheritance News

Grounds for contesting a Will: Understanding the terms of the Will

For a Will to be valid, the person making the will (the Testator) must have ‘knowledge and approval’ of the contents of the Will. This requires that the Testator has understood what was in the Will when it was signed and also understood what...

Can you make Inheritance Act claims if the time limit has passed?

Inheritance Act claims ; can you claim if the time limit has passed? The short answer is yes; at the Courts discretion. The six month limitation on Inheritance Act claims has been subject of debate in many cases. Recently in the case of Mrs Shantabi...

What can a beneficiary do if there is a delay in the executor/administrator administering the estate?

The recent case of Gaskin v Chorus Law Ltd & Anor provides guidance for beneficiaries. This is a common problem experienced by beneficiaries Eileen Gaskin died, intestate , in 2012 and a year later her daughter Marquita Murphy instructed Chorus Law to...