Defending a Will

It is essential that the claim against a Will or estate is thoroughly assessed in terms of validity.

More about Defending a Will

If you are named as an Executor or beneficiary of a Will that is being contested, it is important to seek legal advice to protect your interests and defending your Will. Our experienced solicitors at Forbes can assist you in defending a Will, ensuring that your rights and entitlements are protected throughout the process.

What is Defending a Will?

What is Defending a Will?

Defending a Will is a process of protecting the validity of a Will when it is being challenged. The goal of defending a Will is to ensure that the deceased person's wishes are honoured and that the distribution of assets is carried out as they intended.

In some cases, an executor or administrator of a Will may find themselves in a position where the estate they are responsible for is being challenged. It can become a distressing problem for families during the grieving period and it can also potentially delay the execution of the deceased person's assets.

Dealing with a contested Will without professional legal advice can become both stressful and problematical, which is why Forbes Solicitors are able to be of assistance.

Defending a Will

Defending a Will

It's essential that the claim against a Will or estate is thoroughly assessed in terms of validity, which can be completed by a legal expert at Forbes Solicitors. If you are an Executor of a Will, you might be faced with claims such as:

  • Claims against the contents of the Will if an individual has been promised a certain amount which is not fulfilled

  • Claims against the individual responsible for executing the Will and requests

  • Claims to rectify the contents of the Will if initial instructions have been misinterpreted resulting in an error.

Claims against an executor

Claims against an executor

If you have been named as the Executor of a Will, you are legally responsible for ensuring that the estate is distributed in accordance to the deceased person's wishes. However, there are a number of reasons why someone may be unhappy with the contents of the Will and this may result in a contesting a Will case. As an Executor, you must ensure you:

  • Accept Executor duties and preserve the contents of the Will

  • Complete any tax returns or pay debts that are associated with the estate

  • Distribute the estate according the contents of the Will.

If for any instance you have not complied with your legal duties as an Executor, you may face a claim against yourself. In this instance, it's advised you seek professional legal advice in order to ensure you are protected.

Why choose our solicitors who specialise in defending a Will?

Why choose our solicitors who specialise in defending a Will?

We have a team of solicitors who specialise in defending Will disputes, and are dedicated to providing exceptional legal services to our clients. With years of experience in handling Will disputes, we have the expertise to help you navigate the complexities of defending a Will.

We understand that this can be a difficult and emotional time, which is why we offer compassionate and personalised support throughout the process. Our team is committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you, and we will work tirelessly to protect your interests. We offer a range of price and payment options and ensure we are transparent on costs, whilst providing excellent service levels.

Who do our defending a Will solicitors help?

Our solicitors who specialise in defending a Will help clients who are facing a challenge or dispute over the validity of a Will, or who are defending a claim against the estate.

How can our lawyers help in relation to defending a Will?

How can our lawyers help in relation to defending a Will?

Our lawyers can help by providing legal advice and representation in cases where a Will is being contested or challenged, or where a claim against an estate is being pursued. We can assist in defending the validity of a Will, ensuring that the wishes of the deceased are carried out as intended. We can act in defending a claim againt the estate for example under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975.

Our lawyers can also help to resolve disputes between beneficiaries or family members, and work towards a fair and equitable distribution of assets. With our expertise and experience, we can guide you through the legal process and help to protect your interests.

Additional Information

How Forbes Solicitors can help you

For those who feel like they need expert legal guidance when defending a Will, get in touch with the Dispute Resolution team at Forbes Solicitors. We have extensive experience in terms of dealing with disputes and contesting a will claims, and are committed to helping you defend the Will in order to get the outcome you deserve.

Get in touch by using our online form or calling us on freephone 0800 689 3607.

Defending a Will FAQs

How do you defend a contested Will?

To defend a contested Will it will depend on the grounds of the claim being pursued. It may be necessary to prove that the testator was not unduly influenced or coerced into making certain decisions or that they had testamentary capacity to make a Will. Legal advice and representation from a solicitor experienced in contested Wills is recommended.

Is it worth defending a Will?

It is likely to be worthwhile defending a claim relating to a Will if you are a beneficiary. However, it is important to seek legal advice before taking any action as the cost risks involved in defending a Will can be significant. Ultimately, the decision to defend a Will should be based on the specific circumstances of the case.

Who makes the decision on a contested Will?

The decision on a contested Will claim is made by a Judge at Court. The Judge will consider all evidence presented by both sides and make a ruling on the validity of the Will or the claim put forward.

Who pays to defend a Will?

It would depend on the role of the defendant. If they are a beneficiary they are likely going to pay from their own funds. If it is the Executor they may be entitled to th costs from the estate. However, the decision on payment of costs at the end of a dispute lies with the Judge.

What is the process of defending a Will?

The process of defending a Will involves proving its validity in court, or the Claimant's challenge failing at trial. This may involve presenting evidence that the testator had the testamentary capacity to make the Will, that they were not unduly influenced or coerced, and that the Will was executed in accordance with legal requirements.

What are the grounds for contesting a Will?

The grounds for contesting a Will include lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraud or forgery, and improper execution. Lack of testamentary capacity refers to the testator's inability to understand the nature and effect of making a Will. Undue influence occurs when the testator is coerced or manipulated into making a particular provision in the Will. Fraud or forgery refers to the creation or alteration of a will with the intention to deceive. Improper execution refers to failure to comply with the legal formalities required for making a valid Will.

Can anyone challenge a Will?

No, anyone who has a legitimate interest in the estate of the deceased can challenge a Will, or if they are due to benefit from the claim. This includes family members, beneficiaries, and creditors.

How long do I have to contest a Will?

You have six months from the date of the Grant of Probate to pursue a claim under the Inheritance Act. There are no immediate timescales for a challenge to the validity of a Will. It is recommended to seek legal advice if you are considering contesting a Will.

What evidence do I need to defend a Will?

To defend a Will, you may need to provide evidence that the testator had the testamentary capacity to make the Will, or that the Will was executed in accordance with the formalities required by law. This may include medical records, witness statements, and other documentation related to the creation and execution of the Will.

Can I defend a Will without a solicitor?

Yes, it is possible to defend a Will without a solicitor. However, it is recommended to seek legal advice as the process can be complex and risky. A solicitor can provide guidance on the legal requirements and procedures involved in defending a Will, as well as represent you in court if necessary.

What happens if the Will is found to be invalid?

If a Will is found to be invalid, the deceased's estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy or in line with a previous valid Will. The deceased's wishes, as expressed in the invalid Will, will not be taken into account. It is therefore important to ensure that a Will is valid and up-to-date to ensure that the deceased's wishes are carried out.

Can I still receive my inheritance if the Will is being contested?

Yes, it is possible to still receive your inheritance if the Will is being contested. However, the distribution of the estate may be delayed until the dispute is resolved. If the Will is found to be invalid, the estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy or the previous valid Will. If the Will is upheld, the beneficiaries named in the Will are entitled to their inheritance.

What are the potential outcomes of defending a Will?

The potential outcomes of defending a Will include the Will being upheld as valid, the Will being partially upheld with certain provisions being deemed invalid, or the Will being declared invalid in its entirety. If the Will is declared invalid, the deceased's estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy or a previous valid Will. The outcome will depend on the evidence presented and the interpretation of the law by the court.

Our dedicated Contesting a Will team

John Lambe.jpg

Partner, Contesting a Will

John Lambe

Tom Howcroft.jpg

Partner, Contesting a Will

Tom Howcroft

rebecca-beaumont.jpg

Senior Associate, Contesting a Will

Rebecca Beaumont

Contact Us

If you have an enquiry then please fill in your details and someone will contact you.

0800 689 3607 - Monday - Friday: 09:00 - 17:00

Request a call back

By submitting your enquiry you agree that Forbes can contact you.

© 2024 Forbes Solicitors is the trading name of Forbes Solicitors LLP Offices in Preston, Manchester, Salford, Blackburn, Blackpool, London and Leeds UK Main Office: Rutherford House, 4 Wellington Street (St Johns), Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 8DD • Vat No: 174 394 344 Forbes Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA No. 816356). Details of the SRA’s Standards and Regulations can be found here. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

This website has implemented reCAPTCHA v3 and your use of reCAPTCHA v3 is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.