When can your Will be challenged in court?

Just because you have a will it doesn’t mean everyone’s going to be happy with its contents when you die. Whilst everything might be very amicable now, start talking inheritance and those you care about might not completely agree with what your final wishes are, either through resentment or simply through not understanding your Will’s contents.

A person can’t contest a will just because they’re unhappy with what it says.

Sometimes wills are challenged in court on the basis that they are not legally valid, for example the person who made the will did not have the mental capacity to do so, or were coerced by someone else or the will was not drafted or witnessed properly.

Additionally, certain people are entitled to make a claim against an estate if the will does not make reasonable financial provision for them.

Who can make a claim?

  • Spouses or civil partners.
  • Former spouses or civil partners who have not remarried or entered into a new civil partnership.
  • Children of the deceased.
  • People who were treated as children of the deceased.
  • Anyone who was wholly or partly looked after (maintained) by the deceased.
  • Anyone who was living as husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased for more than two years before their death.

This shows how important it is to make sure your will is correctly and clearly written and legally valid. We’ll guide you through all of the important steps involved in putting your will together and getting it correctly witnessed.

To find out more read our ‘What needs to happen for a will to be valid?’ and ‘Who do you need to provide for in your will?’ articles.

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