What happens in a Will Contest claim (how to contest a Will)

How to contest a Will 1. This blog is an update on our earlier blog following this topic. It should assist in describing what will typically happen in the Will contest claim. 2. There are two general types of Will contest claims. Firstly a claim that a Will is not valid because of problems with its execution (it was not properly signed by the person making the Will in front […]

Will disputes and some recent news for Inheritance Act claims

What happens in short marriage cases where the surviving spouse is left inadequately provided for? Some recent analysis of this is provided by Mr Justice Briggs whose very clear Judgment in Lilleyman v Lilleyman is of considerable assistance. The surviving spouse (Mrs Lilleyman – the widow) received only 10% of her late husband’s estate. Unfair or eminently sensible? Taking Mr Justice Briggs Judgment at face value, I would say it […]

Inheritance Act claims by “adult children” – a game of chance?

I described in a previous article the difficulties faced by adult children who bring a claim for financial provision from their deceased mother or father’s estate. Historically a court would be reluctant to make an award. It would judge that adult children who were capable of earning their own living were unlikely to be sufficiently deserving to warrant further payment from their parent’s estate. Conversely, if they were not so capable […]

Dispute resolution in will contest claims and Inheritance Act claims

Dispute resolution – what does it actually mean? Most potential claimants consider it must mean (for them) a successful day in court. Lawyers of course are much more circumspect. They know that once a case has reached a Judge, to a degree the case is beyond their control or put it another way it is out of control! Successful dispute resolution in will dispute claims and/or Inheritance Act claims is a combination […]

Just what is the Golden Rule in will dispute cases and does non compliance mean a will is invalid?

This is our reply to a recent enquiry which might assist: Thanks for your interest in our service. Please see quote from Mr Justice Briggs in Key v Key below. In essence the “golden rule” is a touchstone for best practice. However, it does not mean than where it is not followed a Will is invalid. It may mean that it is suspect or more open to question that it […]

Costs in contentious will disputes

The general rule is that following a trial, costs will follow the event. In other words the loser pays (his own costs and the winning party’s) This is varied in probate claims or will disputes, as the Court has an inquisitorial role in relation to Wills. In other words the court has an overriding duty to determine the validity of a Will. The effect of this means that to a […]

How to contest a will – deathbed wills and mistake in execution (or what not to do when you make a will!!)

The Wills Act 1837 s9 governs its execution. A will cannot be held valid unless it complies with the archaic requirements set down thereunder, so that: No will shall be valid unless:- It is in writing and signed by the testator or by some other person in his presence and by his direction; and It appears that the testator intended by his signature to give effect to the will; and […]

More information about claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

As mentioned already, whereas if you contest a Will’s validity you are not accepting it as a legally valid document, a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 is only made after a Will has been accepted as valid by the Court Probate Service and can only in fact be made once a Grant of Probate has been obtained. In effect, it is a claim against […]

How to contest a Will – bringing a claim against the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

This blog follows on from our brief guide dealing with disputes over the validity of a Will. It will probably be helpful if you read that before reading this! However in general whereas if you contest a Will’s validity you are not accepting it as a legally valid document, a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 is only made after a Will has been accepted […]

How to contest a Will – a Noddy’s guide (no disrespect to Noddy!!)

In general your will dispute centres on either a claim against the validity of the Will or a claim for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The latter is a claim against the estate, not a Will contest claim per se whereas a  claim against the validity of a Will does involve in our view a true contest about the Will (as opposed to […]

Contest a Will and the role of mediation

A mediator is a professional dispute resolver. He charges a fee to try and help disputing parties to amicably settle the disagreement between them. How is this relevant to a Will dispute/Will contest/Will claim? Surely you are paying the Solicitor to bring court proceedings to do just that? The answer is this. It is incredibly expensive and risky to bring civil court proceedings in England and Wales given in general […]