How do you dispute a will?
How do you dispute a will?
People dispute wills for many reasons. If you are thinking of contesting a will, you need to find out whether you have grounds to do so. Many people who contest wills are bloodline relatives who are named in the Inheritance Act, which can include spouses and children. The vast majority of wills are contested by family members, though other people who were financially dependent on the deceased may also contest them. The Inheritance Act enables those who have been ‘maintained by the Deceased’ to make claims. Being maintained by the deceased can mean being assisted financially over a period of time or being provided with accommodation by them.
Have you received your inheritance?
Some people decide to take action because they have not received their inheritance even though they were named in the will or an earlier will. They may believe the executor has failed to follow instructions properly or has been acting in an unreasonable manner. People who are owed money often contest wills too. If you were owed money by the deceased you may be able to claim against the estate. A section 27 Notice will need to have been issued if you wish to do this. We can help you find out whether this is the case.
Promises and assurances
Perhaps you were promised something by the deceased person? Then you may well be able to claim. A growing number of courts are recognising claims where it can be proved that a promise or assurance was made by the deceased and the claimant relies upon this significantly.
Other reasons for contesting wills include testamentary capacity, which refers to the deceased having been in an unfit state of mind to make or amend a will. Undue influence is another reason why wills are contested, as are forged and fraudulent wills and rectification and construction claims. Lack of knowledge and approval is another reason why wills are contested.
Did the person know about the will?
Some wills are made without the person in question approving of or even having knowledge of the will’s content, even when they have mental capacity. Suspicions often arise when someone involved in preparing a will is given a substantial reward. Undue influence refers to someone being coerced or pressurised into making a will. Rigid evidence is needed to prove a will was created under undue influence, and there must be no other reasonable way of explaining the terms.
Construction and rectification claims
Rectification claims are claims that are made because it is believed the testator’s instructions or wishes were ignored or misunderstood. Construction claims involve the words in a will being too ambiguous for the deceased’s intentions to be determined clearly.
At Miller Reeves, we have many years’ experience when it comes to helping people contest wills. We offer a non-judgmental approach and are able to use our vast legal expertise to provide you with the best level of support possible. To find out more about contesting a will with Miller Reeves, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 300 1882.