Personal Legal Services

Contesting Wills and Inheritance

Our team of litigation solicitors bring decades of expertise to guide you through the process of contesting a Will, ensuring that your loved one's genuine wishes are respected and upheld.

When a loved one passes away, their Will serves as a final testament to their wishes. However, there are times when the contents of a Will may not align with what you believe to be their true intentions. If you find yourself in such a situation, contesting the Will may be the best course of action. The process of challenging a Will involves legal proceedings overseen by the HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), and it is crucial to have experienced contesting a will solicitors by your side to navigate this complex process.

We understand the emotional complexity of challenging a Will and are committed to providing compassionate, professional advice tailored to your unique circumstances. Call us on 0161 665 3502 or fill out our online enquiry form to request a callback, and let us help you ensure that your loved one's true wishes are honoured.


Understanding the Grounds for Contesting a Will

Contesting a Will, also known as challenging a Will, is the legal process of disputing the validity of a deceased person's Will. This can be done on various grounds, including the following:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity: The deceased lacked the mental capacity to understand the implications of their Will at the time it was made.
  • Undue influence: The deceased was pressured or coerced into making the Will by someone else.
  • Fraud or forgery: The Will was created or altered through fraudulent means.
  • Improper execution: The Will was not signed, witnessed, or executed according to legal requirements.
  • Unfulfilled Promises: The deceased promised to leave you something in their Will, but this promise was not reflected in the final document.
  • Failure to Provide for Dependants: The Will does not adequately provide for the deceased's family or dependents under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

If any of these circumstances are present, the Will may be deemed invalid, and the estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy or a previous valid Will.


Who can contest a Will?

To contest a Will, you must have a valid reason and legal standing. Those who can challenge a Will typically include:

  • Family members: Spouses, children, and other close relatives who would have been entitled to a share of the estate under the rules of intestacy.
  • Beneficiaries: Individuals named in a previous Will who were disinherited or received a smaller share in the current Will.
  • Dependents: Anyone who was financially dependent on the deceased but was not adequately provided for in the Will.

If you believe you have grounds to contest a Will, it is crucial to seek legal advice from experienced Wills and Probate solicitors to assess the merits of your case.


What is the process of contesting a Will?

The process of contesting a Will can be complex and emotionally challenging. It typically involves the following steps:

  • Seeking legal advice: Consult with a solicitor specialising in contesting Wills to discuss your concerns and determine if you have a valid case.
  • Gathering evidence: Collect any evidence that supports your grounds for contesting the Will, such as medical records, witness statements, or previous Wills.
  • Caveat application: If you believe the Will is invalid, you can file a caveat with the Probate Registry to prevent the grant of probate from being issued.
  • Mediation: In many cases, disputes over a Will can be resolved through mediation, avoiding the need for a costly and lengthy court battle.
  • Court proceedings: If mediation is unsuccessful, the matter may proceed to court, where a judge will hear evidence and make a decision on the validity of the Will.


How long do I have to contest a Will?

In England and Wales, there is generally no strict time limit for contesting a Will, especially if probate or letters of administration have not been granted. This means that you can challenge the validity of a Will even after some time has passed since your loved one's death.

However, it is important to note that there are exceptions to this rule, and certain circumstances may bar you from pursuing a claim against a loved one's Will. If you have any concerns about potential time limitations affecting your ability to contest a Will, it is crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible. You can get in touch with our legal experts on 0161 665 3502.


FAQs on contesting a will

What are the grounds for contesting a Will? 

A Will can be contested on grounds such as lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraud or forgery, or improper execution.

Who can contest a Will? 

Family members, beneficiaries named in a previous Will, and dependents who were not adequately provided for in the current Will may have legal standing to contest a Will.

Is there a time limit for contesting a Will? 

While there is no strict time limit, it is advisable to take action before the grant of probate is issued and the estate is distributed.

Can a Will dispute be settled out of court? 

Yes, many Will disputes can be resolved through mediation or negotiation, avoiding the need for costly and lengthy court proceedings.

How much does it cost to contest a Will? 

The costs of contesting a Will vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether court proceedings are necessary. At Garratts, we offer transparent pricing and will discuss potential costs upfront.

Why choose Garratts for advice on contesting a Will?

At Garratts, our team of legal experts brings decades of experience and knowledge to every case. We understand the emotional complexity of challenging a Will and are committed to providing compassionate, professional advice tailored to your unique circumstances.


Our solicitors will work closely with you to assess the merits of your case, gather necessary evidence, and explore all avenues for resolving the dispute, including mediation and negotiation. Should court proceedings become necessary, we will provide robust representation to protect your rights and interests. 

You can contact Garratts for a no-obligation consultation. Call us on 0161 665 3502 or request a callback. Let us help you ensure that your inheritance serves the best interests of you and your loved ones.


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