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Tag Archives: Contested Wills

Setting Aside a Will – Fraud and Forgery

These are serious allegations which should not be made lightly. The most common forms are: Forgery – for example of the testator’s signature or advancing a Will known to be false Fraudulent calumny whereby the testator’s mind is dishonestly poisoned against a third party who would benefit from the Will. Evidence In a civil case the standard of proof is the balance of probabilities as opposed to beyond reasonable doubt which …Read More

Ilott Changes Little for Contested Wills & Probate Claims

The 2015 Court of Appeal decision in Ilott v Mitson excited much interest. Today (15 March 2017) the Supreme Court gave judgment on the Charities’ Appeal The base legal position In English law a Testator remains free to leave their Estate as they see fit, unlike in many European countries where the law requires that the family inherit.  An English Testator wishing to exclude a family member from inheriting should …Read More

Setting Aside a Will – Lack of Capacity

Another way in which to challenge the validity of a Will is to allege the testator did not have capacity to make it. Any person who is over the age of 18 and of sound disposing mind may make a Will. Disputes about whether the testator has capacity to make a Will either when giving instructions for it or upon signing are increasing. People are living longer and more are …Read More

Setting Aside a Will – Undue Influence

One way to challenge the validity of a Will is to allege that undue influence was exercised over the Testator. The burden of proving undue influence rests with the party making the assertion. It is a high burden. One of the difficulties will be the absence of the chief witness namely the Testator. Often when one child stands to inherit the whole or majority of the Estate, their siblings will assert …Read More

What can be done for those left out of a Will or on Intestacy

As a general rule, any person is free to leave their estate as they see fit.  However, that does not prevent the provisions of their Will being challenged after death if someone is left out of a Will.  Even where an estate is intestate (there is no Will), the statutory provision made in default can be challenged. In recent times, more people cohabit rather than marry and second marriages or …Read More