How to Contest A Will in 5 Simple Steps
If you feel you haven’t been fairly represented in a loved one’s Will, follow this guide for contesting a Will by our experienced inheritance solicitors.
To successfully contest a Will, you will need to:
1) Find an experienced inheritance solicitor
2) Ensure you are eligible to contest the Will
3) Determine that you have a valid reason
4) Submit your claim before the time limit expires
5) Provide evidence that supports your claim
Find an experienced inheritance solicitor
Our inheritance solicitors understand that contesting a loved one’s Will is a difficult and challenging time, which is why we will be with you every step of the way to help you understand the process and provide the legal support you need. Our competent solicitors have years of experience helping clients successfully contest a Will as quickly and with as little hassle as possible.
Ensure you are eligible to contest a Will
The first step to contesting a Will is to make sure you are eligible to do so. You can also contest a Will on behalf of someone else, usually if they are minors or unable to do so themselves. There are many situations and relationships that make someone eligible to contest a Will but the main ones include:
- Direct family members
- A spouse or civil partner (including those separated but who haven’t re-married or entered another civil partnership)
- A beneficiary who was named in a previous Will
- Someone who financially relied on the deceased
- A creditor who owns the deceased’s debt
- A person who the deceased promised something to but wasn’t included in the Will
Reasons for contesting a Will
There are many reasons why someone may want to contest a loved one’s Will, which include:
- The deceased was not of sound mind when they signed the Will
- The deceased was subject to undue influence at the time of writing their Will
- The signing of the Will was not witnessed
- There is evidence that the signature was forged
- A person has a right to the estate but was not named or adequately recognised
Submit your claim within the time limit
Typically, you will want to make your claim as soon as possible and before the executor has been granted probate and begun the distribution of the assets. However, you can still make a claim after this time, though it becomes even more difficult and your chances of success are reduced. In some special cases, where fraud is suspected for instance, there is no time limit to contesting a Will. It is recommended that you contact a solicitor as soon as you have doubts about the contents of a Will.
Collecting evidence to support your claim
To ensure your claim is successful, you’ll need to provide sufficient evidence that supports your reason for contesting the Will. Our experienced inheritance solicitors will work with you to build a strong case based on solid legal knowledge to present in the mediation process, a meeting of the parties involved in a case to find a satisfactory outcome. However, if a suitable result cannot be established through mediation, your claim will be taken to court where an experienced solicitor from Trethowans can represent you.
Trethowans is a leading law firm with offices located across the South in Poole, Bournemouth, Winchester, Salisbury and Southampton. To arrange a consultation with one of our specialist inheritance solicitors to learn more about how to contest a Will, get in touch today on 0800 2800 421.