Losing a loved one is one of life’s most distressing and inevitable moments. It can be made significantly harder if you find out you have been excluded from the deceased’s Will, a deeply unpleasant and potentially emotionally damaging experience.
It is important to know that despite the probable shock and other negative emotions you are feeling, not all hope is lost and that you have options to obtain a share of the estate. Here, Lorraine Walker, a Solicitor with Mander Hadley, who specialises in dispute resolution explains what you need to know:
How can I contest a Will?
Any challenges made against the estate to contest a Will need to be made through the courts. It can be complex and usually costly so it is important to consider if contesting the Will is the right option for you.
Reasons to contest Will exclusion
Legal challenges to Wills are common, so if you do find yourself in this situation then you still have plenty of options.
There are several reasons to support your claim:
Reasonable financial provision
If this is beyond your control, be it financially or otherwise, there are still avenues for you to explore to protect your interests.
The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 is one such method and could give you reasonable financial provision from the estate.
For such a claim to succeed through this act, it would be expected that the deceased would reasonably be able to meet your living costs.
Any claim based on a feeling of disgruntlement will be looked at negatively by the court, as would an argument about wanting a greater share of the estate.
Will the court support my claim?
The courts will examine the case put forward for your claim and consider various factors including:
Protect your interests without delay
Being excluded from a Will can leave you feeling emotionally distressed, but it is important to know that you still have many doors open to alter the situation and obtain support and relief.
The right legal guidance will ensure that you protect your interests and potentially secure a fair share of the estate, so it is important to seek advice quickly. Delays can harm your chances of a positive resolution.
If you are concerned about the provisions made in a Will, please get in touch with us today for advice.