Successful cases of contesting a will in the UK

Successful Cases of Contesting a Will in the UK

Contesting a will can be a complex and emotionally charged process. However, there are cases in which contesting a will in the UK has been successful, resulting in changes to the distribution of assets. In this article, we will explore some of the most notable successful cases of contesting a will in the UK.

Grounds for Contesting a Will

Before delving into successful cases, it is important to understand the grounds on which a will can be contested in the UK. The most common reasons for contesting a will include lack of capacity, undue influence, fraud or forgery, and the failure to provide for dependents.

Lack of capacity refers to a situation where the person making the will did not have the mental capacity to do so at the time of making it. Undue influence occurs when the testator was coerced or manipulated into making the will. Fraud or forgery refers to a situation where the will was altered or forged without the knowledge or consent of the testator. Failure to provide for dependents refers to a situation where the testator did not make adequate provision for their dependents, such as children or spouses.

Successful Cases of Contesting a Will

Below, we’ll go over some of the most well-known success stories when it comes to contesting the contents of a will:

Ilott v Mitson

In 2017, a landmark case was decided by the Supreme Court in the UK, Ilott v Mitson. In this case, a woman named Heather Ilott contested the will of her estranged mother, Melita Jackson, who had left her entire estate to charity. Ilott had been excluded from the will, and she argued that her mother had not made adequate provisions for her as a dependent.

The case went through several rounds of litigation before being decided by the Supreme Court, which ruled in favour of Ilott. The court ordered that she receive a portion of the estate, despite her mother’s expressed wishes.

Antonio v Williams and another

In another case, Antonio v Williams and another, a brother of the deceased successfully claimed financial provision from his sister’s estate as she stood in the role of parent to him, was treated as her own child and she was maintaining him before she passed away.

Marley v Rawlings

In Marley v Rawlings, an elderly couple, Mr and Mrs Rawlings, made wills leaving their entire estate to each other, with the remainder going to a man named Terry Marley. However, they mistakenly signed each other’s Will (rather than their own), which rendered them invalid.

After Mr. Rawlings died, his estate was distributed according to the rules of intestacy, which meant that it passed to his estranged son, rather than to Mrs. Rawlings. However, Marley successfully contested the decision, arguing that the mistake in the wills should be corrected.

Contesting a Will is Much Easier with Professional Help

Contesting a will in the UK can be a difficult and emotional process, but in some cases, it can be successful. The grounds for contesting a will are limited, and the process can be lengthy and costly. However, the cases discussed in this article demonstrate that it is possible to challenge a will and receive a more equitable distribution of assets.

If you’d like help contesting a will, please fill out our free claim assessment and our team at Will Claim will get in touch with you.