Who Can Contest a Will ?
We are frequently asked the question as to who can contest a will, essentially there are many people entitled to make a claim and much depends upon the basis as to why you want to contest a will, and your interest in the estate.
The most common persons who contest wills are as follows :-
A blood relative of the deceased
As bloodline relative you have a right to make a claim ( subject to you having legal grounds ) to either challenge the will, and argue that the intestacy rules apply or that an earlier will applies.
In addition, as a blood relative of the Deceased, then under the Inheritance ( Family and Dependants ) Act 1975, if you were financially dependant upon the deceased then you have a right to make a claim for ‘reasonable financial provision’ if you fall into the falling categories of claimants, who are :-
- The Spouse or Civil Partner
- Co-habitants ( see below )
- Same sex cohabitants
- Child of the family
A Cohabitant of the Deceased
As a cohabitant of the deceased if you were living with the deceased and where financially dependant then you can claim Inheritance ( Family and Dependants ) Act 1975. You can read more about these claims by clicking here.
Someone who was financial dependant upon the Deceased
If you were financially dependant upon the deceased and he/she provided financial support then a claim can be made under the Inheritance ( family and dependants ) Act 1975.
It might be that you were promised money by the deceased or that in an earlier will your legacy was a lot higher than under the last will of the deceased. If so, you would be entitled as an interested party to contest the will.
A creditor of the Deceased
If the deceased owed money to you, then a claim can be made against the estate. Be careful to check for what are known as S27 Notices which provide Notice as to when an estate is likely to be distributed.
The DWP ( the Government )
The Department of Work and Pensions will always check to see if they are due a refund on benefits paid after someone has died but still received benefits or an allowance.