In general there are three distinct types of will claim:
However, we also provide information about:
Willclaim provide a unique NO WIN NO FEE service for all types of will disputes to include inheritance claims (claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975).
The most common forms of will claim are set out in 1, 2 and 3 above. These are claims against the validity of the will on the basis of lack of capacity to make the will, for financial provision by virtue of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and that the estate hasn’t been properly administered. Often these claims can be made together; for instance, it is common for a claim to be made for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and at the same time, a claim against the legal validity of the deceased’s Will.
The most common reason to contest the validity of a Will is because the testator, or person actually making the Will, could not have understood what he or she was doing when the will was made. This is a claim that the Will maker lacked the “capacity” to make the will. There is a legal test of capacity provided by an old case called Banks v Goodfellow 1870, which is still followed today (https://swarb.co.uk/banks-v-goodfellow-qbd-1870/). Typical examples of cases where capacity is likely to be an issue, are cases where the Will maker had dementia, Alzheimer’s or some other medical condition which affected their cognitive powers at the time the will was made.
Other lesser grounds for contesting the validity of a Will can include claims that the steps taken to complete the Will to include the testator signing in front of two witnesses (who also sign in front of each other) were not properly complied with. For further information on this type of Will claim the user of this service is advised to consider section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Will4and1Vict/7/26/section/9). Alternatively the Will dispute might focus on an allegation that the Will was witnessed by a primary beneficiary (or his or her spouse). Also that the main beneficiary who was married to the deceased, has since the will was written, divorced from him.
Another fairly common Will dispute claim is that the testator’s signature has been forged.
Finally, contesting a Will can also be taken as sometimes meaning that the actual administration of the Will is in dispute. This again is fairly common in Will claim cases and can lead to acrimonious and expensive Will disputes.
If you are considering contesting a Will but your claim does not fit the type we set out above, then please do not hesitate to contact us. No Will dispute is exactly the same but the same principles apply to each.
I would like to thank you for your determination to bring to a conclusion last Wednesday’s very stressful day for us both. You also made a swift payment to me.Ms A – February 2020