Wills can be contested on a number of grounds and at Nockolds we have an extensive track record of successful claims and defences based on:
- Mental capacity - It is essential that the maker of a Will understands the nature of the document and what effects it will have. A common source of disputes is where there is a history of memory problems such as Alzheimers or dementia, or another medical condition that affects the mind. For more information on mental capacity Will claims and associated issues such as the test in Banks v Goodfellow and The Golden Rule, click here.
- Lack of knowledge and approval – The maker of the Will must know and approve of its contents. This can be called into question if it appears that the maker of the Will might not have known entirely the content and significance of what he or she was signing. For more information on knowledge and approval Will claims, click here.
- Fraud or undue influence - A valid Will should be an expression of the maker’s wishes, and not anybody else’s. A Will may be invalid if the maker was placed under coercion by another or made the Will as a result of deception. We also have experience in investigating forgeries. For more information about undue influence or fraudulent Will claims, click here.
- Failure to observe proper formalities - The Will must normally be made by someone who is over the age of 18, is in writing and signed by the maker in the presence of two or more witnesses at the same time. For more information on Will formality claims, click here.
To contest a Will, or indeed defend such a challenge, there are several key issues to consider in advance, such as the proper use of a caveat, a standing search, Larke v Nugus
enquiries, the legal effects of a Will being declared invalid, and costs. Please click here
for our guide to contesting a Will.
Our Team of specialists is led by Daniel Winter, who is a Certified Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialist with ACTAPS, the recognised association of legal specialists in this complex area of law.
For further information on contesting a Will and to find out how we can help you, please contact our Will and Trust Disputes Team on 01279 755777 or get in touch with Daniel Winter, Partner in our Will and Trust Disputes Team.