Challenges to Wills are becoming increasingly common.
Disputes may arise regarding the circumstances in which the Will was made or signed and the outcome of that dispute will determine whether a deceased person has left a valid Will or not.
This is a critical issue in considering how the person’s estate should be dealt with after their death.
What are critical issues for Will disputes?
- Due execution - Was the Will signed and witnessed properly?
- Testamentary capacity – did the person signing the Will (‘the Testator’) have the necessary capacity to make a Will. In simple terms, did they really know what they were doing? This would include at the time the Testator gave instructions regarding the contents of the Will, but also at the time the Will was signed.
- Knowledge and approval - Did the person signing the Will (‘the Testator’) know what they were signing and did they understand the contents of the Will?
- Undue Influence – A Testator should decide on the contents of their Will and sign the Will of their own free choice? Did someone apply undue influence (coercion) to the Testator to leave their property in a particular way? Was the Testator subjected to ‘fraudulent calumny’ – the poisoning of the mind so that the Testator decides against leaving something in their estate to someone that they would otherwise have planned to leave some benefit.
If you wish to speak to a member of our team about will, trust or estate disputes, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling your local office.