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On what grounds can you contest a will?

When you’re thinking about contesting a will, it is understandably an upsetting time. You have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, emotions are running high, and it’s easy to make assumptions about what does and doesn’t constitute a valid reason. Knowing this beforehand can save a lot of heartache and conflict. Read on to discover the answer to the all-important question, “on what grounds can you contest a will?”

What constitutes a valid will?

Before answering “on what grounds can you contest a will?”, it’s important to understand what a valid will is. For a will to be considered valid in the first place, it must be made in writing and signed by the testator, or if this is not possible, it may be signed by someone at the testator’s direction. The signing will need to be witnessed by at least two people and the testator must intend for the will to be valid.

Mental capacity

If you believe that the deceased did not possess the appropriate capacity to approve the will with full comprehension, then this may be a reason to contest it. Those who claim that the will is valid will need to prove that this was not the case.

Lack of understanding

In some cases, you may believe that the person who wrote the will did not actually understand or approve of its contents. This could be because they were visually impaired or did not have an adequate literacy level. You may also contest on this ground if they were hard of hearing, or were generally in a vulnerable state.

Influence

Should you feel that your loved one was under what is known as “undue influence”, this can be a reason to challenge the will. You will need to prove that the person who wrote the will was coerced and made choices they did not truly want to. Because this is essentially fraud, unless you can gather a good amount of evidence, it can result in legal consequences for the person making the claim.

Rectification

If you believe that a will has misrepresented the wishes of the person who has passed away due to a clerical error, then this requires rectification so that the issue can be remedied.

Forgery

A very serious reason to contest a will is if you believe the will was forged. This can be a long and difficult journey requiring handwriting samples to prove forgery. Fraud also falls under this category, where someone may have impersonated the deceased, though this is a rare kind of claim.

On what grounds can you contest a will?

If you believe that you might have grounds to contest a will, it’s important to get in touch with a professional who can help you through this challenging time and support you legally. At Will Claim Solicitors, we specialise in assisting our clients in contesting wills for estates most commonly based in England and Wales. Our expert solicitors are on hand to support you on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, so get in touch to arrange your free claim assessment here.

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