Can I contest my mothers Will?

A woman pulling a sledge with her child on in the snow

Technically your mother is free to leave her estate to whoever she chooses. This can be an individual, several different beneficiaries, a trust or a charity.

However, you are able to contest the Will if you believe it to be invalid or that you have been unfairly disinherited. 

When contesting a Will you must be aware that you are not guaranteed a win. It is a lengthy process that can take its toll both financially and emotionally. 

Circumstances when a contest can be raised

You are not able to contest a Will until after the Testator has passed away and then a dispute will need to be raised within six months from the Grant of Probate. 

Several reasons you can contest the Will are as follows – 

  • You are listed as a beneficiary but the executors of the will have not executed the Will correctly. 
  • You were listed as a beneficiary on an old Will but a new Will does not list you as one. 
  • You were promised an inheritance from your mother whilst she was still alive. 
  • You believe that your mother has not made reasonable financial provisions for you.
  • You believe the Will to be invalid. 

There must be a legal basis for contesting the Will. Simply being their son or daughter is not a valid reason and will not stand up if the case results in a contested trial in court in front of a judge. 

Gathering evidence

If you are questioning the validity of the Will you will need to be able to prove your case. For example, if you are stating that your mother was not at full mental capacity when she drafted her Will, due to illness or disability, your legal team will need to access her medical records. 

Your first port of call should always be your solicitor. They will be able to tell whether you have a case and will also work with you to provide the evidence needed to resolve the dispute with your desired outcome. 

Settling the dispute

In many cases where a blood relative is contesting a Will, the claim is made under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family & Dependants) Act 1975. This act is for dependants who believe that adequate financial provisions have not been made for them.

The court will look into whether these financial provisions have been made. If they have not, they will look at your current financial situation, the size of the estate of the deceased and conclude with what they believe to be adequate provisions. 

When contesting a Will you must be aware that you are not guaranteed a win. It is a lengthy process that can take its toll both financially and emotionally. 

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