Challenging a Will
There are a number of ways to challenge the validity of a Will, which is usually done with the aim of reverting back to an earlier Will, or reverting to the Intestacy Rules that apply when there is no valid Will present.
Grounds for Challenging a Will
In order to challenge a Will in England and Wales, it must be on the following grounds:
- Undue influence - The belief that the deceased was pressured or coerced into drafting their will in a certain way. This is usually when the deceased is vulnerable to influence from others.
- Lack of knowledge and approval - The person making the Will must be fully aware and understanding of the contents of a Will for it to be valid.
- Execution - There are several formal requirements for the valid execution of a Will; which include being signed by two legitimate witnesses who were present at the time the person making the Will signs it. If it can be proven otherwise, then the Will could be deemed as invalid.
- Lack of mental capacity - For a Will to be valid the person making it must have the mental capacity to fully understand the consequences of what they are doing.
- Construction and rectification - There are cases where a Will is drafted by a lawyer that has not accurately carried out the intentions of the person making the Will. This can be for a number of reasons which include professional negligence by the lawyer or an administrative error. Depending upon the circumstances of the individual case this may be resolved by rectifying the Will or may lead to the Will being declared invalid.
- Forgery and fraud - This is one of the less common grounds for challenging a Will, but still occurs nonetheless. If a Will is found to be forged, the Will will be set aside. Whether the entire Will has been forged or the signature of the person making the Will has been forged, both are grounds for challenging a Will.
How to Dispute a Will With Berwins Solicitors
Can you dispute a Will? In order to prove a Will as invalid, the right legal advice, knowledge, and support is necessary. If you’re looking into challenging a Will, it’s crucial that you seek the right legal advice early on. At Berwins Solicitors, we can help you to challenge a Will and do so sensitively and supportively.
Please call the Life team on 01423 542779 for advice on challenging a Will.