To Contest a Will in England and Wales you need to have sufficient reason...
The Inheritance Act 1975 states you have the legal right to contest a will
if you have sufficient grounds for disputing the Will, such as not receiving reasonable financial provision
from the estate of the deceased. You also need to be eligible to contest, such as a spouse, child or dependant.
Where no will is present then intestate rules apply and a contest cannot be made, probate will proceed following these rules and the
estate will go to the next of kin, such as the spouse or sole surviving relative.
Can I Contest A Will?
RSR Law is able to Contest a Will under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
It is this act that sets out the strict criteria with which we are able to make a Contest against a Will.
Our expert Contest a Will team will quickly be able to evaluate your case to see if it is possible for you to make
a will contest . In order for us to proceed with an or Inheritance Act Claim the following criteria must be meet:
- You must be Eligible to Contest
- You must have Sufficient Grounds to Contest the Will
- It must be within 6 Months of the Grant of Probate (See Timescale to Contest a Will)
- The deceased must have been a Resident of England or Wales
- The Will must have been Made in England or Wales
- The deceased's Estate must be worth Over £100,000^
Whatever your reason for challenging a will and family circumstances we are here to help. All our services are completely
^We may be able to assist with the contesting of a will with lower value estates, however we will not be able to proceed under
a No Win No Fee agreement.
Please contact us to see if this is the case and for further details.
Contesting a Will with RSR Law
Eligibility to Contest a Will
The Inheritance Act states that the Contesting of a Will (also known as Challenging Probate) must be started by a person associated with
the deceased in order to become a beneficiary or a greater beneficiary of the deceased's estate.
To Challenge Probate under the Inheritance Act you must be:
- a Child of the deceased^
- a Husband, Wife or Civil Partner of the deceased
- a Former Husband, Wife or Civil Partner of the deceased
- who was receiving maintenance and has not remarried / entered into a new civil partnership
- any person financially dependent on the deceased
- any person treated as a 'child of the family'
- a Co-habitee of the deceased
- any person who was receiving a Maintenance immediately prior to death
^it is unlikely that any other relative will be able to claim unless they have been treated as a child / received a maintenance / lived with the deceased or are next of kin / the sole living relative.
Grounds for Contesting a Will
You must have sufficient grounds to Challenge a Will under the Inheritance Act in England and Wales.
The list below highlights the main reasons listed within the Inheritance Act for which a Will Contest could be based. Please note: This is not an exhaustive list, so if you are unsure please contact us to discuss.
- Inadequate Inheritance
- i.e. not sufficiently provided for or not being included in the will.
- Negligent Drafting of the Will
- i.e. a home made will or negligent will writer
- Coerced into Signing / Undue Influence
- i.e. forced to sign the will under duress / pressure, or being subject to undue influence
- Lack of Mental Capacity to Sign the Will
- i.e. person was not of sound mind or suffering from dementia.
- An Invalid Will
- Was the Will signed / witnessed properly?
- Was it the final Will?
- Is there Evidence of Fraud / Forgery?
- The Will was revoked?
- Improper Conduct
i.e. by an Executor or Trustee
- Dispute of Ownership
- i.e. Property that is to be distributed is in dispute
Other factors needing to be considered
In order to see if you are eligible to Contest a Will our solicitors must asses your case. We look at many different factors and these
factors are what a court would base their decision / your level of entitlement on and include:
- Your financial situation and that of other beneficiaries.
- The deceased obligations to you or any other beneficiary.
- Any disability you may have.
- Your relationship with the deceased.
If you are a Spouse or Civil Partner making a Will Contest extra factors will be considered to determine what inheritance you are entitled to, such as:
- The length of your marriage or civil partnership.
- Your ages.
- Responsibility for any children from the marriage.
- What you would have received in a divorce settlement if death had not occurred.
Timescale for Contesting a Will
The Inheritance Act 1975 states: "An application for an order under section 2 of this Act shall not, except with the permission of the court, be made after the end of the period of six months from the date on which representation with respect to the estate of the deceased is first taken out".
Abstract, Inheritance Act 1975 CHAPTER 63.
Put simply the timescale to Contest a Will is within 6 months of the Grant of Probate.
Although it may be possible to Contest the Validity of a Will at any time, claims being brought under the Inheritance Act 1975 must be lodged
within 6 months of the Grant of Probate. The courts do not look favorably on long delays and cases brought after 6 months from Grant of Probate
may be complicated by the estate having already been distributed.
If you want to Contest a Will take action as soon as possible, and within 6 months of Probate being granted. If you delay, contesting the will may be impossible.
Read our published article "Timescale for Contesting a Will Under the Inheritance Act 1975"
Contesting a Will - England and Wales
It is only possible for RSR Law to consider contesting a will if the deceased was a resident of England or Wales AND the Will was made out in England or Wales.
Contesting a Will - Overseas (or other areas of the UK)
If you live overseas (outside England and Wales) it is possible to make a will contest if the above criteria are met. We can deal with you "out of UK working hours", via telephone, email,
Skype, appear.in or even in person.
Contesting a Will - the Law
If you would like to read more about the law in relaion to disputing probate and the inheritance act.
Funding your Will Challenge
No Win No Fee
Wherever possible we aim to Contest a Will under our genuine No Win No Fee* service.
This means you really can Contest a Will without the worry of a bill if your challenge is unsuccessful,
and with our FREE evaluation of your case you really can't lose.
8 out of 10 challenges we deal with are handled under our No Win No Fee agreement.
*See our Terms and Conditions for more details on No Win No Fee and our other funding options.
Why Should I Contest a Will? What's in it for me?
If you are eligible and have sufficient grounds to contest a will the benefits can be substantial.
- an increase in your financial provision from the Will.
- become a beneficiary of the Will.
- stop others from benefacting.
- prevention of fraud and misappropriation of a loved one's estate.
Expertise & Reputation is Key
ContestaWill2Win.com is brought to you by RSR Law Solicitors, industry leading contentious probate solicitors.
It is our expertise and reputation that will get you the inheritance you are entitled.
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