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Is contesting a will something that can be done?
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# 1
shell-collector
Old 23-01-2008, 11:55 AM
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Question Is contesting a will something that can be done?

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# 2
a11waysindebt
Old 23-01-2008, 12:07 PM
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I'm sorry th hear your father has passed away.

Were you not left anything in his will.
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# 3
dzug
Old 23-01-2008, 12:16 PM
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There seems to be a contradiction in what you are saying:

when your father died everything went to his wife
when your father was alive a will was written to include all children

If by this you mean that everything went to his second wife as a life interest, to be passed on to all children on her death, then this wife cannot pass the property in her will - it's not hers to give. It should be distributed as per the original will and not mentioned in hers.

If you are referring to another will, written before his second marriage - then yes that will is null and void, rendered so by the remarriage. The second wife can do what she likes with what is now her own property.

As to contesting, that's always possible. The usual effect is to fritter away the estate in legal costs so no-one wins. In this case you don't (in England and Wales anyway) have any valid grounds to contest* - you are not financially dependent on the second wife, presumably.

*unless the property she is trying to give isn't actually hers - ie the life interest aspect

Last edited by dzug; 23-01-2008 at 12:20 PM.
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# 4
shell-collector
Old 23-01-2008, 12:37 PM
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.......................

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# 5
valspooky
Old 31-07-2008, 12:40 AM
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Default contesting a will

My uncle died 2 weeks ago and has left a will saying his estate is to be split between his stepson and one of his nephews one of my aunts has said she is going to contest it as he has 5 nephews and niece's (who are all adults not children) and that it isnt fair that only the one nephew is to get any money none of us agree with her as the nephew involved did alot for him while he was alive can anyone advise as to weather she can do this or if she has a chance to have the will over ruled. thanks.
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# 6
dunstonh
Old 31-07-2008, 1:17 AM
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It can be contested. Although there has to be good grounds.

Personally, i dont see that a nephew would be a close enough blood relative to justify it being contested unless there was some really special close relationship involved and good reasons to contest. I would expect a solicitor would advise this nephew that its not worth it due to low chance of success (as they would still have to pay the legal costs).

Contesting it is easy. Proving your case is a lot harder.
I am a Financial Adviser. Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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# 7
JanRoy
Old 23-04-2010, 12:10 AM
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Default Valid Will

My brother-in-law died at the beginning of the week. He had appointed an Executor/Sole Beneficiary (same person) who is outside the family. However, on seeing the Will today which was of the diy variety

1. The date is entered wrongly
2. It was let on that it was witnessed through the post and I know this to be illegal
3. My copy was stapled together and if this applied to the original I believe to be void
4. Pages are not numbered
5. Even appears that one witness signed in pencil !

I am taking this Will to be null and void if even for point No. 2 alone ! What chances do you think my husband and his remaining brother have of
contesting this and what would be the cost ?
Thanks
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# 8
juliejules10
Old 18-06-2010, 7:10 AM
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Default contesting a will

You can definitely contest the will on the basis that it was not witnessed properly. The will has to be signed in front of two witnesses. And the witnesses must sign in front of the person making it.
It was explained to me that there are two angles that can be taken in contesting a will. First, it is to say that the will is not valid. This could be because it wasnt signed properly, as in your situation, or that the person making the will lacked capacity at the time or was put under undue influence. Basically, the argument is that the will was not made properly and so it is not valid at all.
The second (and what I have experience of) way wills get contested is that someone close to the deceased (like a spouse or child) argues that they were not adequately provided for under the will. So, in this argument, you are not saying the will is invalid, rather, you are saying it left someone out unfairly and it should effectively be rewritten by the court to make it more fair.
Remember also, where there is no will the default is the rules of intestacy. But if the effect of these would be unfair (ie because someone dependent on the deceased will not get an adequate amount) they can be challenged to. In my situation, I was not left anything by my husband, who left all his money and property, including our house we had been sharing for 20 years but was in his name) to his kids.(I was the second wife). The estate was worth about 1million. I used a law firm in Surrey where I live called Sheridan & Co or sheridanlaw (I think they use both names). Anyway, after a big battle, I got around half instead of nothing. In only mention the name of the firm because they were so effective. The best advice I can give anyone is to find a really good solicitor like I did, as it can make all the difference.By far the worst thing was that his kids dont speak to me anymore and I used to feel like they were my own. It is so depressing. But I didnt feel i had a choice, as I was left with nothing. The good thing about bringing this kind of case is that the fees were all paid out of the estate at the end, so it didnt really cost me anything. Although of course if I could have agreed with his kids at the beginnig to share the money then we all could have saved on paying lawyers...
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# 9
getmore4less
Old 18-06-2010, 9:00 AM
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A good starting place is the HM courts site

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/i...bate/index.htm

Loads of info and the forms needed if you want to do something.


Still recomend going to a solicitors but armed with the basics will help you understand any options.

The probate help line are very helpfull with individuals.


This area of family planning is definately worth reading up on, the consiquences of unexpected death without proper planning can cause significant costs.

As well as the on-line resources the library will have a few books on wills probate and trusts.
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# 10
bendix
Old 18-06-2010, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shell-collector View Post
Hello

A brief outline before I come to my main question. I lost my Mother appx 20 years ago. My Father re-married, and has since passed away. His Wife had been married before, and had been widowed. When my Father passed, everything he had went to his Wife.

Myself and my sibling are wondering what would happen if she changed her will to exclude us? She has three children, and although when my Father was alive a will was written to include all children - I presume that will is now null and void. I know she has written a new will, but obviously not what the contents are.

A friend has said to me that should myself and my sibling be excluded from her will we can `contest` the will - but is this something that one can really do? Or is it the way the world is?

I'd just like to be able to get my head around this - I'm not saying she HAS cut us, but I'd like to know where we stand legally, should it come to it.

Thank you for reading.
I don't think you understand the concept of wills. Your father left his entire estate to his second wife. That means she now owns the entire estate. What she does with that is entirely up to her, and she is completely free to leave it to her children and exclude you.

Unless you can prove your father wasn't in a fit mental state or was coerced into leaving it to his wife (unlikely, seeing as how it could have gone the other way, had his wife died first), you don't have a legal leg to stand on.

There is no universal right for children to be considered in any will, written or implied. If I have kids and choose instead to pass my vast fortunes to a monkey sanctuary in Cambodia, there isn't a damn thing my kids could do about it.
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# 11
margaretclare
Old 18-06-2010, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendix View Post
I don't think you understand the concept of wills. Your father left his entire estate to his second wife. That means she now owns the entire estate. What she does with that is entirely up to her, and she is completely free to leave it to her children and exclude you.

Unless you can prove your father wasn't in a fit mental state or was coerced into leaving it to his wife (unlikely, seeing as how it could have gone the other way, had his wife died first), you don't have a legal leg to stand on.

There is no universal right for children to be considered in any will, written or implied. If I have kids and choose instead to pass my vast fortunes to a monkey sanctuary in Cambodia, there isn't a damn thing my kids could do about it.
Because your father remarried, any earlier will was null and void. He made a new will on marriage, leaving everything to his wife.

You said 'when my father was alive a will was written to include all children'. With step-children/step-grandchildren it's necessary to name them. This is what we've had to do, otherwise simply saying 'my children/grandchildren' would mean biological children and not the second, or step-, family.

We're in a second marriage and have made wills leaving everything to each other but, on the second death, the residue goes to grandchildren, who have all had to be named.

My understanding is that it's very difficult to contest a valid will. It's necessary to prove that you were financially dependent on the deceased person e.g. a disabled child, a non -working spouse etc.
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# 12
getmore4less
Old 18-06-2010, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendix View Post
There is no universal right for children to be considered in any will, written or implied. If I have kids and choose instead to pass my vast fortunes to a monkey sanctuary in Cambodia, there isn't a damn thing my kids could do about it.
Universal is too wide a statement.

In some countries including Scotland children have legal rights to parts of the estate.

And in england there are provisions for childred to make claims in some cases.
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# 13
bendix
Old 18-06-2010, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getmore4less View Post
Universal is too wide a statement.

In some countries including Scotland children have legal rights to parts of the estate.

And in england there are provisions for childred to make claims in some cases.

Fine. So define 'children' in this instance. It certainly isn't the OP. Her father - in sound mind presumably - made a will handing over his estate to his wife. In so doing he actively precluded his children from the estate, intentionally or not.

In this case, 'children' is much more likely to apply to the second wife's children, not the OP.

I work for a law firm and based on the facts as the OP has stated them, she has on legal claim on the estate as things currently stand.

ALL of the estate is now entirely at the discretion of her father's widow.
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# 14
Mojisola
Old 18-06-2010, 12:48 PM
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The original post was made in 2008. I wonder how things have worked out?
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# 15
antonwells
Old 31-10-2011, 6:48 PM
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Default how long do you have to contest a will

a very close friend of mine father passed away in 2005 and he was notified of this at the time. he has since found out and has a copy of the death certificate which says his death was registered by someone who is a distant nephew and he has since found out that his fathers estate was dealt with by his uncle who claimed there were no living relitives he is very upset by this as he is an only son how does he find out the details of the will and then contest it
thank you
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# 16
Yorkie1
Old 31-10-2011, 7:09 PM
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http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/c...ants-wills.htm gives quite a lot of detail of what information you can find out and how.

You need to find out whether a valid will was left and, if so, what its terms were. If one wasn't, then the rules on intestacy will apply to the distribution of the estate.

You'll probably need a solicitor to advise on what enquiries should have been made before the estate was distributed, how to find out whether they were carried out, and whether the executor lied in any documents submitted as part of the administration of the estate.
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# 17
Clifford_Pope
Old 01-11-2011, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getmore4less View Post


This area of family planning is definitely worth reading up on,



family planning ?
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# 18
philippas
Old 02-06-2012, 12:49 AM
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Enjoyed reading the great help from these threads. I'd appreciate any help on this question I have:
My Mum married a UK citizen (second marriage for both) which lasted 11 years. He has passed away recently and left everything in his will to his children. His children are claiming even the good, chattels, car etc.
Does my mother, as his wife of the past 11 years have any rights? If she were to contest the will, how likely is it that she would she be successful?
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# 19
atush
Old 02-06-2012, 1:43 PM
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Was the will made before or after the marriage? Is the house etc, in both their names or just the deceased's name?
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# 20
xylophone
Old 02-06-2012, 8:40 PM
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I am assuming that the will was made after marriage to your mother (if not see http://solicitors.contactlaw.co.uk/f...ill-99319.html) - it is not unreasonable for your stepfather to have wanted his children to inherit his personal property.
Are you saying that "inadequate provision" was made for your mother or that the heirs are laying claim to jointly owned property?
If so, she may have a case but will need expert legal advice.
http://www.actaps.com/
http://www.makeawill.co.uk/contesting-a-will.htm
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