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Has anyone challenged a Will ?

(8 Posts)
Slaymill Wed 30-Jan-13 17:20:13

Was it successful , the psychological trauma is exhausting how to keep an even keel ?

Advice, help any thoughts welcome

Jiddle Wed 30-Jan-13 17:35:52

There are limited circumstances in which you can challenge a will, do any apply to you? In broad terms these are:

1. The testator lacked capacity at the time of making the will;

2. The will was not validly executed;

3. You are 'dependant' on the testator within the meaning of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and the testator failed to make adequate provision for you. 'Dependant" does not mean simply that as a child of the testator you expected to inherit; it means that the testator was maintaining you financially during his lifetime, or contributing financially to you in a meaningful way, and you had the reasonable expectation that that provision would continue. To make a claim under this Act you must fall into one of the specific categories of individual covered by the Act (spouse, civil partner, person other than spouse or civil partner who co-habited with the testator for 2 years immediately prior to his death, child of testator, person treated as a child by the testator, or any other person who was maintained by the deceased immediately prior to the death).

It is a complex area of law and you will need specialist advice from a contentious probate lawyer. Litigation is very expensive and so the estate would have to be fairly substantial to make it worth your whole financially, never mind emotionally.

I'm a lawyer and I've recently advised a close family member not to bother contesting the will of one of her parents, for this reason.

Jiddle Wed 30-Jan-13 17:39:37

Sorry fat fingers on phone - should have said "while" not "whole".

Should also add that a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act has to be brought within 6 months of the grant of probate or letters of administration, otherwise it is time-barred.

Slaymill Thu 31-Jan-13 11:13:05

thanks for taking the time to answer my OP.. goes off to think

fatnfrumpy Sat 09-Feb-13 16:06:47

Jiddle, my stepsister who also happens to be my stepdads executor is trying to do this, some two years after probate was granted!
She has distributed the 1/3rd of the estate to her DB and herself but will not pass over the other 1/3rd to my DM because she disagrees with the will.
So far it has costs £10,000 and we still can not get her to release the funds. She now says she is contesting the will as she can prove my DM never contributed to the joint accounts so she should not have the funds due to survivorship!

Jiddle Sat 09-Feb-13 17:48:30

Fatnfrumpy by the sound of it your step-sister's claim is based on a different point - not a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act and therefore not subject to the 6 month limitation period. Sorry to hear you're having to deal with this.

digerd Sat 09-Feb-13 20:01:01

If your DM was married to him, she doesn't have to have contributed to the joint funds.

fatnfrumpy Sun 10-Feb-13 17:27:13

Thanks digerd,
Unfortunatly she is contesting the will and our barrister has suggested going to a mediating barrister to make the decision although i don't think she will agree to this. My guess is she will want her day in court.
I thought the law was clear on wills and survivorship but if she wants to withhold money as an executor and contest her Dads will it seems she can.
Slaymill sorry to hijack.
if you are considering contesting a will please think very clearly if you can afford the lawyers fees and the emotional stree involved.

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