HCR Law Events

26 May 2020

I am concerned about the validity of my relatives’ will; how long do I have to claim?

There are many reasons why you may think a will is invalid, including:

  • You believe the person lacked capacity at the time of making their will
  • You believe that the will was not executed properly, meaning the key requirements were not met (for example, the will was not witnessed, the will was not signed or it was witnessed by someone who will benefit from the will)
  • You believe the person was influenced by someone else to make the will and may have made the will under duress
  • You believe that there may be an updated will
  • You believe the will lacks the required content (for example, it does not appoint any executors).

If you are concerned that a relative has left a will which might not be valid, there is no time limit for when you must make the claim.

The court can however refuse claims if they think that a claim has been delayed without good reason.

Once probate has been granted and the assets within the estate have started to be divided, it can become very difficult to contest a will. Delaying making your claim also presents a number of practical problems, because the more time that passes, the more difficult it will be to obtain the evidence that you need to prove your case. For example, key witnesses may start forgetting important details or evidence may have been destroyed or lost.

If you have concerns that a will may not be valid, you should seek advice as soon as possible.

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About the Author
Leanne Harle, Solicitor, Disputed, Wills Trusts and Estates

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