A Will can be contested on a number of grounds by a beneficiary or a person dependant upon the deceased who has not been properly provided for under the terms of the Will.
The law lays down strict requirements which must be complied with for a Will to be valid. The person making the Will must have capacity i.e. they must know what they are doing and the effect of what is provided for within the Will, it must be properly signed and witnessed, and the person making the Will must understand the nature and effect of the Will and not be acting under any duress or undue influence. Duress and undue influence can be difficult to show and merely advising or persuading somebody is not usually enough.
Contesting Wills through the Courts can be expensive and if the claim fails the person contesting the Will might face having to pay any costs incurred by the estate. Even if the claim is successful then the costs of the party resisting the claim could well be paid out of the estate.
It is therefore important that legal advice is obtained at the outset so as to ensure that there is indeed a claim worth pursuing and to discuss the best ways of resolving that claim without issuing Court proceedings.
Quite often when a person dies they have not made a Will or they have failed in their Will to provide proper financial provision for dependant partners or relatives. In those circumstances the Will can be challenged to the extent that proper financial provision can be sought.
All of the above is something that this firm is able to assist with. The time within which any claim has to be brought is relatively short and so it is important that advice is sought as soon as possible.
For further assistance our Peter Ward based at our Pontefract Office should be contacted on 01977 732222”.