3 Things You Need To Know About Contesting A Will

Date Added 06.07.16

If there is reason to believe that the contents of a loved ones Will is not valid for any of the following reasons:

  • The Will was not correctly executed
  • The deceased lacked capacity
  • The deceased lacked knowledge and approval
  • The deceased was unduly influenced
  • Fraud has taken place

Then there maybe a case to contest the Will also known as contesting probate. There are however 3 things you need to know before considering contesting a Will:

1.    How long does someone have to contest a Will?

Where the Deceased left a Will, you have 12 years from date of death to bring a claim against the Estate.

Where the Deceased died intestate (without having made a Will), you have 12 years from the date Letters of Administration are granted, to bring a claim against the Estate.

Completely separate to such claims, are Inheritance Act claims for maintenance from a Deceased’s Estate under the 1975 Act. In such cases you only have 6 months from the date of the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration are issued, to bring such a claim. Otherwise, you will require the permission of the Court.

2.    Can I get legal aid to contest a Will?

Legal Aid is no longer available in contentious probate matters. Tollers always advise clients as an alternative method of funding, to check to see whether they have any Legal Expenses Insurance on any home buildings/contents insurance, to see whether they might be covered to pursue such claims. Check your terms and conditions policy booklet and if in doubt, contact your insurer directly.

Tollers do offer a range of funding options for contesting a Will. Consideration can be given to funding by way of a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement, with each matter to be decided on a case by case basis dependent upon the merits of the claim.

3.    Who can contest a Will?

In order to have legal standing to bring such a claim, you must be a beneficiary (of more than that which you currently receive) under the Deceased’s directly previous Will. If the Deceased did not have a previous Will, then you must be a blood relative to inherit under the intestacy rules, for which there is a specific order of hierarchy to entitlement.

The Tollers legal team are members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) meaning they are officially recognised as specialists in this niche area of law, a rarity in the region.

We have offices across the Midlands in Northampton, Milton Keynes, Kettering, Corby, Stevenage and Kempston.

Please contact us for completely free initial advice on 0333 414 9191 or email yourdispute@tollers.co.uk.

We have helped many clients through the process of contesting a Will.

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