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Can a Will be Contested or Challenged?

What happens if a Will is not made Correctly?

If a Will is not made correctly, e.g. if it has not been signed in accordance with the Wills Act 1837 in front of two adult independent witnesses present at the same time, or if it has been tampered with or makes no sense, then the government (a division of the High Court - Probate Registry) will fail to recognise it as a valid Will. The government will not issue a 'certificate' Grant of Probate which the Executors / Trustees require to authorise their appointment and carry out the instructions in the Will. In this situation a 'previous' Will might be seen as the valid Will, or if there is no 'previous' Will the person who has died is said to be intestate (they have no valid document to say what happens to their property on their death) and the administration and distribution of the estate is carried out in accordance with government 'Intestacy Rules' which are inflexible and take no account of any personal preferences or desires.

Apart from a Will not being accepted as valid by the Probate Registry, a Will can always be challenged / contested by those who feel there may be fraud or undue influence. There could also be a potential claim from a spouse, civil partner, partner and minor children / dependants if they feel there is not 'reasonable financial provision' under the relevant Inheritance Tax Act.

See more details: When can I make a Will? | Who can write a Will? | Can I leave people out of my Will?

We recommend that you make your Will using our professional glossLegal service to make sure your loved ones are not left with problems when you are no longer around to sort them out. glossLegal provides the highest quality Will documentation, unique to you, professionally checked by qualified solicitors, posted, bound and with clear instructions for signing your Will.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this site is not legal advice, but general information on legal issues commonly encountered. GlossLegal is not a law firm and is not a substitute for a solicitor or law firm. GlossLegal cannot provide legal advice. Please note that your access to and use of the GlossLegal website is subject to additional terms and conditions. GlossLegal is the trading name of Enterprisexchange Limited registered in England, United Kingdom under Company Number 3803556.