Generally, the people who can contest a Will are only those who are financially dependent on the individual (the testator) who has died, for example a child or a spouse. On the other hand, anyone may contest a Will through the help of a family provision barrister. While, it can be both financially and emotionally draining, it is always possible for a family member to try to challenge the Will so that the Law of Intestacy changes the original Will. Through this, some of the assets of the testators will be distributed differently and possibly in favor of another family member who was excluded previously.
The Wills, Estates and Succession Act with the new Probate Rules started taking effect on March 2014. Whether or not the WESA is applicable to an estate or a certain issue concerning an estate depends on factors including the date of death, the date of the will, and if the individual died within the testate or intestate.
How can you contest a Will?
The Will can be invalid if the testator can be proven to be not totally responsible for his mental ability. This could be hard because even individuals who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, can experience days when they are totally alert mentally. Sometimes, obtaining the right evidence can get tricky in these cases.
Also, it has to be proven that there was no malign influence or coercion that transpired when the Will was written. This is often a lengthy and costly process, and should not be taken lightly. The best thing to do in such a case should be to consult with a family provision barrister who can advise you on the possible outcome and legal fees from pursuing this action.
By hiring a wills and estates lawyer, you can challenge a Will whereby a surviving family member feels that there are not enough of the estate has been given to them. The claimant needs to present that he were dependent on the deceased during the time of his death. Keep in mind that the courts will not be pleased with someone who views the Act as a means for scroungers, and thinks he might as well get some more money for themselves.
To sum up, a family provision barrister is capable of providing you with the best legal advice. Most of the time, a highly divisive and costly court action can be prevented if your probate solicitors and the ones representing the executor can reach an out-of-court settlement.