When can a Will be challenged?

Legal clinic round up – November 2018

Every month Rebecca Weare and Beccy Bristow solicitors at Start Point Law hold free legal clinics in Kingsbridge and Dartmouth. 

In November we spoke to a man who was concerned that a family member may challenge his will after he died. The man had three children and did not want one son to inherit. The son had struggled financially on several occasions and his father had given him large sums of money to help him out of those situations.  The other two children had not received similar support and the father wanted to ensure that they were compensated after he died.   

We explained that if the father had made a will the son would need to challenge the validity of the will or make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975.

To challenge validity of the will he would need to prove that his father did not have testamentary capacity (he was suffering from an inbalance of the mind) or that he had been unduly influenced when he made his will. For the claim under the Inheritance Act to succeed, the son would need to show that in all the circumstances of the matter that he had not received sufficient provision as was reasonably necessary for his maintenance. 

The risk that the son could establish that the will was invalid would be reduced if the father instructed a solicitor to draft the will. The solicitor could ensure they took steps to the father had testamentary capacity and that he wasn’t influenced in his decision and record what had been discussed. They could also ensure that there was a record of the reasons for favouring two of his three children.