Challenging a Will

Can a Will be challenged?

There is an Act of Parliament known as the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Some changes were made to it by a later Act of Parliament (passed in 1995) and the net effect of these two acts is as follows:

If you are an eligible applicant (see below) and the deceased did not make reasonable financial provision for you, then you can make a claim through the courts, requesting that the division of the estate be altered. There may have been a Will, or an intestacy and a claim can be made in either case.

Eligible Applicants:

  • Spouse
  • Former Spouse who has not already re-married
  • Co-habitee (i.e. anyone who for a period of two years immediately preceding the date of death was living in the same household as the deceased as husband and wife)
  • Children
  • Any person treated by the deceased as a child of the family
  • Any other person who was being maintained in whole or part by the deceased immediately before the date of death

Other issues:

  • The claim must be commenced within 6 months of the date of the grant of probate
  • The court will consider the financial resources of the person claiming against the estate, other sources of income and capital, the moral obligations that would/should have been on the deceased, the value of the estate (i.e. how much money is really available for re-distribution), any physical/mental disability of the claimant and any other factors deemed to be relevant
  • The definition of “reasonable financial provision” is slightly different for a surviving spouse. They would be entitled to expect a higher level of financial support than other categories of claimant and the court would interpret the definition of “reasonable” more generously in favour of such a claimant

Articles and Guides:

Woman wins right

For further information please contact:

Telephone: 0118 974 7540

Contact Us