Which of the Most Common Grounds for Contesting or Disputing a Will Are Successfully Pursued by Us
Will claim Solicitors, specialist no win no fee will dispute and will contest Solicitors, identify which of the most common grounds for contesting or disputing a Will most often lead to a successful claim
In our previous blog we identified the most common grounds for contesting or disputing a Will. We refer to various “claim types” in our website:
However, we are often asked to try and identify which of the most common grounds for contesting or disputing a Will can most often lead to a successful claim (or defence as applicable).
There has to be something at stake
Let’s not beat about the bush. Legal expenses are in general paid from the estate. Whilst it is possible to “dress this up” by suggesting that because it reduces the benefit to your opponent he/she is paying, the reality is there is only really one source for the payment of your legal costs and expenses and it is as mentioned the estate. If the estate is not large enough to bear these there is probably no point in pursuing the claim.
Which of the most common grounds for contesting or disputing a Will can lead to a successful claim (or defence)
Assume we are over the first hurdle and the estate is large enough to bear the legal costs of a dispute. We now consider which of the most common grounds for contesting or disputing a Will can lead to a successful claim or defence, in particular taking into account funding under a no win no fee arrangement.
The funding of Will dispute and Will contest claims under a no win no fee arrangement requires the Solicitor to believe that he/she will win the claim on your behalf. The easiest claims to win and the most commonly successful grounds for contesting or disputing a Will tend to go hand in hand. In general, they are as follows (usually in combination):
Will validity (common law)
• Homemade Will
• Will made when testator appeared not to have sufficient capacity
• Will made under the “supervision” of the primary beneficiary
• Forceful and provable conduct towards a testator by a primary beneficiary to ensure the Will substantially benefitted him/her
• Any fraud in relation to the formation and/or execution of a Will to include forging the signature of the testator and/or in relation to the purported signature of witnesses
Wills Act 1837
• A failure to comply with section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 (signature requirements Will to be signed in front of two witnesses etc –
Financial provision claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
• A testator making no or no substantial provision for his/her dependent children and/or spouse
• A testator making no or no substantial provision for his/her dependent(s) with whom he was living immediately before his death
• A testator making no or no substantial provision for his/her partner and with whom he/she was living with immediately before death
• A testator making no or no substantial provision for his/her vulnerable child to include an adult child with financial and/or health issues
• Where no Will so that the rules of intestacy apply – they not catering for situations such as those referred to above
Property deemed to no longer form a part of the deceased’s estate – Estoppel and Constructive Trust
• Substantially paying for and/or contributing to the purchase price of property can lead to ownership of some or all of it by someone other than the named owner/testator
• A promise by the testator/owner of land to leave that land to an individual who altered his/her position and substantially to his/her detriment (where the promise is not subsequently fulfilled by Will) can lead to the Court stepping in to adjust the formal property title and/or remove it from the deceased’s estate and/or otherwise provide compensation from the deceased’s estate
• Executor not distributing the assets of an estate in accordance with the terms of a Will and/or under the rules of intestacy
Claims against the Will writer (Solicitor negligence claims)
• Will not made in time (before the death of the testator – disappointed beneficiary can sue the Solicitor)
• Solicitor failing to ensure that title to jointly held property is severed causing a substantial part to fall outside of the deceased’s estate and not dealt with under the terms of the deceased’s last Will
If you consider any of these facts and matters are of interest, are likely to apply to you, or you would like to ask us for more information about our no win no fee arrangement, or you simply want us to assess your claim, then please do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential no strings chat and/or visit us at www.willclaim.com.
We provide details about our no win no fee arrangements at https://www.willclaim.com/nowin-no-fee/.