The opportunity of claiming against an estate even if there are no provisions for them in the Will or the Intestacy Rules is given to the following people:
- Family Members (blood line relatives e.g. a spouse or child of the deceased)
- Someone who was financially dependent on the Deceased.
- A beneficiary under the Will
- Someone who is owed money (debt claims)
- Someone who was promised something by the Deceased
There are five main areas where wills can be contested
Mental Capacity – When the testator makes a Will, they must be of sound mind. Broadly speaking the individual must know what they are doing, understand the consequences of including and excluding beneficiaries and have knowledge of the value of the estate. They must know that they are signing a will and approve of its contents.
Lack of valid execution – The Will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two others who are neither under the age of 18 or a beneficiary of the Will.
Undue influence – The testator must not have been unduly influenced, coerced or been under duress at any stage during the making of the Will.
Fraud or Forgery – Contesting a Will is possible if you believe there was Fraud or Forgery involved during or after the creation of the Will. This area mainly includes forged signatures. Keep in mind if a beneficiary is removed from the Will after a fraudulent accusation the Will may be invalidated.
Rectification and construction claims – A Will may be contested where the testator’s wishes were not correctly or clearly written into the document either due to a failure in the person preparing the Will or a clerical error.
Probate is for many, an unfamiliar and complicated procedure faced at a distressing time, if you are not sure if the estate needs Probate or you do not know what you need to do as an Executor please do not hesitate in contacting Dean Steele on 01722 410009 to discuss the estate administration.
By accepting free advice you are under no obligation to use our services.