Will and Probate Disputes are on the rise.

 

A survey conducted by Direct Line Life Insurance has revealed that the number of applications submitted to the HM Courts and Tribunal Service has increased by 6% in 2018.

This statistic is not surprising, considering the research also indicated that 12.6 million people would be prepared to challenge a Will, if they felt that the division of assets did not truly represent the deceased’s wishes or were inappropriate given the circumstances.

 

But on what grounds can you contest a Will?

In order to raise a successful claim, you may need to prove that it is invalid. Some of the common reasons include:

  • If the Will was not drawn up correctly and there is a mistake.
  • The testator did not fully understand or know about the contents of the Will.
  • The Will was forged or a type of fraud took place during its creation.
  • That the testator was coerced and unable to exercise their own judgment when creating the Will.

You may also be able to challenge a Will, if you feel that it makes insufficient reasonable financial provision for you.  This type of claim is known as an Inheritance Act claim.  The Will does not have to be invalid in order to raise this claim. Normally, this only applies if you are a spouse/civil partner or dependant of the deceased or one of the other eligible categories of claimants under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. You might be able to challenge a Will if:

  • You were left out of the Will completely.
  • Not left as much as you or expected to receive.
  • Alternatively, if the deceased passed away without a Will.

To make a claim under the Inheritance Act, you have 6 months to make a claim once the Grant of Probate is granted. There is no time limit if you are making a claim on the grounds of fraud or forgery.

 

I would like further information, who should I contact?

 

If you would like advice on any Estate related issue, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Dispute Resolution and Litigation Solicitors, Laura Colebrook or Laura Ellis, by telephoning 0118 975 6622 or by email by clicking on the highlighted name.  They will be happy to have an initial conversation with you.