When we lose a loved one there is very little to compete with it in terms of the grief, confusion and upset that we go through. This time in our life is always difficult but can be made even harder if you feel that you need to dispute a will. For a number of reasons you may feel like you have been unfairly treated; whether left out of a will entirely, or that the assets of your loved one are being redistributed wrongly or in a way you feel they could not have approved of with sound mind. Disputing a will is a complex affair and you should always be prepared to have expert legal backing to consider your case and give you a fair chance to effectively contest.
Why You Should Dispute a Will
If you wish to dispute a will there has to be a good reason for it. You will be of the feeling that you have been unfairly represented in the will or left out completely from a will. Or you will believe the will is invalid. There are a number of reasons why a will is legally invalid and can be disputed:
- You believe that the execution of the will has incorrectly been performed
- You believe that the will has been forged
- You believe that the testator (the deceased) was put under undue influence to amend the details of their will
- You are under the impression that the testator did not fully understand the contents of their will
- You believe the testator did not approve the contents of their will prior to their death
Time Limits to Disputing a Will
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 gives you the chance to dispute a will within six months of probate being granted. You have to claim within this time limit in order for it to be a successful dispute, and you also have to fit into a certain criteria of person to do so.
- If you are the current spouse/civil partner of the deceased individual
- If you are a former spouse or civil partner of the deceased individual and since the breakup you have received no financial settlement, and have not since remarried
- In the two-years prior to the death of the testator you have lived in the same household as them, in the same manner as a spouse or civil partner
- The deceased was your parent. This includes illegitimate children, adopted, or treated as a child through marriage or civil partnership
- The deceased financially maintained you, either wholly or partially
Disputing a will is complex and is a very emotional time for all parties concerned. If you are thinking of contesting a will you should always search for assistance, with professional experts who understand the nuances of the legal aspects of disputing a will and can guide you through the whole process, including the little details that can make a huge difference as to whether you can make a successful claim or not.