How Long After Probate Can a Will Be Contested?
Probate is the legal right to deal with someone’s money, property and possessions. The person responsible for managing probate is called an “executor” or “administrator”. However, there are cases where someone can contest a will after it has been granted probate, usually because they believe that it was made under undue influence or fraudulently by another party involved in the case. In this blog, we answer the question, ‘how long after probate can a will be contested?’
How long after probate can a will be contested?
There is no time limit for contesting a will. However, it’s advised that claims be brought forward at the earliest opportunity as this will make the recovery of assets more straightforward and cost-effective after distribution has taken place. In some cases, however, it may be necessary to wait until after probate has been granted before challenging a will based on undue influence or incapacity.
What is a grant of probate?
Probate is the process of dealing with a person’s estate after they die. It can be a long and complicated process, especially if you are dealing with an estate that is worth more than £50,000. A grant of probate is the document that confirms the executor(s) of a will have the authority to deal with the assets of the deceased person.
If a person does not have a will, all of their assets are passed on according to intestacy rules. The estate must be distributed according to these laws and by the wishes of the deceased if they can be determined.
What happens when a party contests a will?
When a party contests a will, the court must determine whether the will is valid or invalid. This decision is based on numerous factors, including whether the person who made the will was of sound mind when he or she did so (i.e., had capacity). A court also considers many other matters when deciding whether to declare a will invalid and void. These include:
- The testator’s circumstances at the time he or she created their last will
- Whether they knew what they were doing when they signed it
- Whether any undue influence was used to get them to sign it (e.g., improper pressure)
Bringing a claim after probate
You can bring a claim for the return of assets after probate. If you’re thinking of bringing a claim that the will is invalid, it’s best to do so quickly. The longer a person waits to bring a claim forward, the higher chance there is that the executor has already distributed assets under a will. This means that evidence may be lost and witnesses may disappear or become unavailable.
We hope this blog has helped you to understand how long after probate a will can be contested. For more advice, or to arrange a free claim assessment, speak to a member of our team today.