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We can advise you if you believe that a Will was made under duress, that the person making the Will did not have mental capacity to do so or you believe that the Will does not accurately reflect the intentions of the person making the Will.
You may be able to challenge or contest a Will on the basis that undue influence was exerted on the person making the Will, at the time the Will was made.
It is not sufficient that the person making the Will was persuaded to make it in a certain way perhaps as gratitude for past services, or in pity of a person’s future destitution. Actual undue influence is required. This means the person making the Will must have been coerced so that their free will, judgement, discretion and wishes had been overborne.
This is a difficult area of challenge, as undue influence must be proved by the person alleging it. We can however also advise you on the merits of bringing a claim on the grounds of lack of knowledge of the content of the Will, and lack of approval of a Wills content.
Lack of Mental Capacity
When a person makes a Will, they must possess a certain level of mental capacity.
The person making the Will must be capable of understanding:
- The nature of their act and its effect
- The extent of the property of which they are disposing; and
- The claims to which they ought to give effect
If a person making a Will was suffering from a mental illness, such as dementia, at the time when the Will was made, it may be possible to challenge the validity of that Will.
Fraud & Forgery
There are different types of fraud in probate cases. These include a dishonest misrepresentation being made to the person making the Will by someone seeking to benefit under the Will, fraud in the preparation of drawing up the Will where the person drawing up the Will is a stranger and has no claim to the persons estate but prepared the Will for their own benefit.
Forgery is a separate ground for challenging the validity of a Will. The most common types of forgery involve typing or printing of the main body of the Will and the forging of the signature of the testator and witnesses.
If you believe that a Will has been made using fraud or forgery then a claim to invalidate the Will may be brought.
If you would like straightforward, practical, cost-effective advice from a specialist solicitor on challenging a Will, we are here to help.