How do I contest as will?

The starting point is understanding that in England and Wales a mother or father is not obliged to leave his or her estate to their child or children and that “family” money or property doesn’t automatically pass to a blood relative.

The bottom line is you cannot contest a Will because it is “unfair”.

The next issue is the estate size. It is very expensive to engage Solicitors, Barristers and experts, all of whom might be required if there is a serious Will dispute. There is in short, no point in arguing over pennies. Whilst a no win no fee arrangement in a Will dispute might seem to be appropriate in this case – it is NOT! No win no fee doesn’t mean no fee at all. It simply means there is nothing to pay unless the case is won. Once it is won, the Solicitor and/or Barrister can charge.

Having considered all of the above, there is yet a third issue to consider. What happens if you successfully contest the Will? You might think this is a strange consideration but it is actually rather important. Legally you cannot contest or dispute a Will unless you have an interest in the outcome. In practice this means that you must have an interest in the estate under a previous valid Will (in other words you are a beneficiary under that Will) or if none, by the rules of intestacy as one of the deceased’s nearest living relatives.

Having considered and understood the above, there are in general two types of dispute:

1. A claim the Will is not valid
2. A claim for financial provision from the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

You can run both claims!

A claim the Will is not valid can be divided into three types of claim:

1. Firstly, that the Will was not properly executed (signed by the person making the Will in front of two witnesses who have also signed) or was forged
2. Secondly, that the person making the Will could not have understood what he or she was doing
3. Thirdly, that the person making the Will was forced to do it (commonly known as undue influence)

You can make claims about all three at the same time or individually. It will depend on your case as each one is different.