Can I contest my father’s Will?

A father and daughter walking the a forrest with the sun shining through the trees

Losing a parent is one of the toughest experiences a person can face. There isn’t anything that can prepare you for it. To then find out you have either been disinherited or not given as much as you believe you are entitled to, can make the situation and all the emotions involved worse. 

Probably the last thing you want to do is contest the Will but many times it can feel like the last resort.

Are you able to contest your father’s Will?

The short answer to this is yes.

The longer answer is yes but it can be a complex procedure that will take time and money.  

If you believe that the Will has not given you reasonable financial provisions then you would want to raise a claim under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family & Dependants) Act 1975. This act covers children and step children of the deceased. 

Raising the contest

If you believe that the Will has not given you reasonable financial provisions then you would want to raise a claim under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family & Dependants) Act 1975. This act covers children and step children of the deceased. 

The court will look at your current financial matters and whether or not the Will does make adequate provisions for you.

If they find it does not, they will then look at the size of the estate and what they believe to be reasonable provisions for yourself.  

Questioning the validity of a Will

If you are questioning the validity of the Will you need to be able to prove why. For a Will to be valid it must – 

  • Be in writing and signed by the Testator.
  • The Testator must have two witnesses who also sign the document. 
  • They must be at full mental capacity and understand all of the decisions they are making. 
  • They must understand the value of their assets.
  • They must not be coerced into making decisions. All decisions must be their own. 
  • The Will must not be forged. 

Gathering evidence

When raising a dispute you must do this within six months of the Grant of Probate being issued.

Once you have instructed your solicitor, they will start building your case for you. This may include calling experts in particular fields, obtaining medical records and also a Larke V Nugus statement from the Solicitor who drafted the original Will. 

In summary

It won’t be an easy process. As mentioned above it can be costly and time consuming but also a very emotional time within the family.

Everyone will work to try and resolve the case out of court but all outcomes will vary from case to case. 

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