Contesting a will after a grant of probate has been issued can be a complex process, and it’s important to understand that contesting a will is not something that should be taken lightly. It is important to seek legal advice before proceeding, as the process can be time-consuming and costly. Here is an overview of how to contest a will after a grant of probate has been issued in the United Kingdom.
Grounds for Contesting a Will
There are several grounds on which a will can be contested, including:
- Lack of testamentary capacity: This means that the person who made the will did not have the mental capacity to understand the nature and effect of the will they were making.
- Undue influence: This means that someone else pressured the person who made the will into making it.
- Fraud or forgery: This means that the will is not valid because it was created through fraud or forgery.
- Lack of proper execution: This means that the will was not properly signed and witnessed according to the legal requirements.
Seeking Legal Advice
The first step in contesting a will is to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in wills and probate. They will be able to advise you on the specific grounds for contesting the will and the likelihood of success. They will also be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Issuing a Caveat
Once you have sought legal advice and decided to proceed with contesting the will, the next step is to issue a caveat at the probate registry. This is a legal notice that prevents the grant of probate from being issued until the caveat is removed. This will give you time to prepare your case and gather evidence.
Filing a Claim
Once the caveat has been issued, you will need to file a claim at the High Court. This is where you will need to present your evidence and argue your case. The court will then decide whether or not to uphold the will or to make changes to it.
It’s important to note that contesting a will can be a long and costly process. It’s important to consider the emotional toll and financial costs before proceeding. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that the court’s decision may not be in your favour, so it’s important to have realistic expectations.
It’s also important to note that there is a time limit for contesting a will after a grant of probate has been issued. Under the Limitation Act 1980, an action to contest a will must be brought within six months of the grant of probate. This means that if you wish to contest a will, you must do so within six months of the grant of probate being issued.
In conclusion, contesting a will after a grant of probate has been issued can be a complex process. It’s important to understand the specific grounds for contesting the will and to seek legal advice before proceeding. The process involves issuing a caveat, gathering evidence and filing a claim at the High Court. It’s important to keep in mind the time limit and the emotional and financial cost of the process. Contesting a will can be a difficult decision, but with the right legal guidance, you can navigate the process with confidence.