Contested probate Contested Probate, Contesting a will

Contest A Will

A Quick Guide On How To Contest A Will

A will is the legal document which determines the distributions of a person’s estate upon death. Contesting a will the act of challenging a will, something usually initiated by a beneficiary. Although it is essential that you take legal action as soon as possible, contesting a will can be a costly and time consuming legal process so it is important that you have considered all the factors.

There a number of valid grounds upon which you can contest a will, these include but are not limited to:

The validity of the will

If you are planning to contest a will based on these grounds, you need to ask yourself whether

  • the deceased intended to make a will
  • the will was signed and witnessed in accordance with the law
  • it was the deceased’s last will
  • the deceased had the mental capacity when the will was made
  • the deceased knew, understood and approved the contents of the will
  • the deceased was not unduly influenced when making the will
  • there is any evidence of fraud or forgery

Failure to make adequate provisions for a particular individual

You may be entitled to benefit from a deceased’s estate, even if you are not included as a beneficiary in the will, if you are:

  • a spouse or civil partner of the deceased
  • ex-spouse or civil partner of the deceased, on the condition that you have not entered a new marriage or civil partnership
  • a child of the deceased

A will can only be contested if there are real grounds upon which to challenge. If your dissatisfaction about the distribution of the estate is the sole reason you wish to contest a will, the court will not even entertain the idea and you will not succeed.

Losing a family member or close friend is an emotional time so it is understandable that you might not feel in the right frame of mind to contest a will. However, the law allows for a very limited timeframe to start a claim.