It is important that a Will fully respects the wishes of the testator
A person’s Will represents the wishes of that person as to what happens to their property and money when they die. However, what happens when a person’s Will does not actually reflect what they wanted to happen to their property?
This can happen when, for example, an unscrupulous relative places undue influence on the person making the Will to leave them things which they may not otherwise wish to do.
Another way in which this occurs is if the person making the Will lacks the testamentary capacity to do so. For example, a person is suffering from dementia may genuinely be unable to understand the effect of their Will.
Sometimes, particularly with ‘home-made’ or ‘off-the-shelf’ Wills, the required formalities to make a legally binding Will may not have been observed.
In such circumstances it is possible to challenge the validity of a Will.
With any claims against a deceased person’s estate, it is important to act quickly. Whilst there is no specific deadline to challenge the validity of a Will, the courts do regularly apply what is known as the doctrine of laches in considering whether or not the person challenging the Will has done so within a reasonable period of time. The two particular milestones that the Court will take into account are when the grant of probate was obtained and when the estate was distributed to the beneficiaries.
Cunningtons can advise you and assist you in bringing a challenge to the validity of a Will.
We can also assist in Will reconstruction and disputes regard lasting powers of attorney.
If you require further information as to how we may help you resolve your dispute or to bring or defend a claim please click here to email us and provide brief details of your problem and we will contact you to discuss whether we can help you and, if so, how.