Contesting a Will

Going through the probate process after a family member or friend has died is never easy. The situation can be made much worse if you feel you weren’t left what you felt you deserved in the Will, or that the person who died made the Will under undue influence.

You may have had doubts about the mental state of the person signing the Will or feel they were pressured into signing it by someone else. Contesting a Will has both emotional and economic implications so it is vital to find an expert solicitor who is sensitive to your needs. To speak to one of our experts, call 01273 604 123.

“May I take this opportunity to thank you for all you help and understanding whilst dealing with my cousin’s affairs…how I wish all solicitors were so diligent and caring!”

Grounds for Contesting a Will

Some of the main reasons for contesting a Will are as follows:

  1. The person signing the Will did not know or understand what they were signing
  2. The person signing the Will was persuaded or pressured to sign it
  3. The person signing the Will did not have proper mental capacity
  4. The Will was not signed and witnessed properly
  5. The person making the Will promised you something but it was not in the Will

Other grounds for Contesting a Will

If you have suffered loss because a Will was not written properly or you believe the estate of a deceased person has not been administered properly then you may have a claim. We are experts at writing Wills, and experts at deciphering them.

Who Can Contest a Will

  • A beneficiary under the Will.
  • Someone who is owed money by the deceased.
  • Someone who was promised something by the deceased.

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 also sets out who can make a claim for provision to be made for them.  For example, if you were part of the family or were being looked after by the deceased, then you may be entitled to contest a Will.

To make a claim under this Act, you must fit into one of the following categories:

  • A spouse of the person who has passed away.
  • A former spouse of the person who has passed away, ONLY if you have not remarried.
  • A partner who lived with the deceased for at least 2 years immediately before the death.
  • A child of the person who has passed away.
  • A person who was treated as a child of the family by the person who passed away.
  • Someone who was supported financially (partly or totally) by the person who has died.

How to Contest a Will

Most Will disputes are settled through mediation and do not go to court. Mediation is a voluntary form of negotiation, which allows two parties to come to an agreement on how to solve the dispute settlement themselves without involving the courts.

However, there are times when meditation does not work and formal court proceedings are issued in order to contest a Will. To read how we will contest a Will for you, click here.

Is There a Time Limit when Contesting a Will?

There is a strict time limit for contesting a Will, with most claims needing to be made within six months from the grant of probate being issued. In some instances, the court can allow claims beyond this period, but it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible in order to find out where you stand.

How to Defend a Contested Will

If a family member is contesting a Will, this can cause further stress for you at a time when you’re grieving. We are experts at defending claims such as these, reducing the stress and getting the results you want, both in and out of the court room. We realise this is a highly delicate and personal situation and you can trust us for full confidentiality and support throughout the process of defending a contested Will.

Contesting a Will: your free guide

Contentious Probate is becoming an increasing issue in the UK. Dealing with issues around who is entitled to what in a Will requires a sensitive approach which looks at a wide range of factors, from family disputes to difficulties regarding mental capacity and undue influence.

Our Contesting a Will Guide covers our 5 key tips to solving issues around contentious probate, and is completely free of charge for you to download.

Your initial consultation

If you believe that you have the grounds to contest a Will, your next step is to book an initial consultation with one of our expert solicitors to discuss the circumstances involved and your chances of being successful in your claim. To book your initial consultation now, call us on 01273 604 123 or email