Contesting a Will - fraudulent & disputed Wills

Fraudulent Wills and disputed Wills are very serious cases and we would advise you to contact us at your earliest opportunity to discuss any concerns you might have. For expert legal guidance regarding contesting a Will please call Stephensons today on 0203 816 9314.

If you have any concerns about a loved one’s Will or you are currently disputing the validity of a Will our solicitors will be able to review the Will and confirm whether or not it is valid. If we find proof that the Will is invalid we will then be able to advise you on the next steps.

If you are currently involved in a Will dispute we can offer a fixed fee 30-minute appointment from only £150, where we can advise you on what taking action will cost you overall, how long it’s likely to take and whether your have a strong case.

 

loading staff

Fraudulent Wills

Unfortunately, fraudulent Wills are not uncommon. Here at Stephensons, our solicitors have vast amounts of experience in dealing with a variety of Will fraud cases in the UK. If you want to challenge the Will of a loved one on the basis that it may have been forged, we may be able to help you.

What is classified as a fraudulent Will?

There are a number of examples of fraudulent Will cases, including (but not limited to):

  • When an original copy of a Will has been intentionally destroyed
  • When a Will has not signed in the presence of both witnesses
  • When the signature on a Will isn’t that of the person making the Will
  • When a person is misled to believe they are signing another document, when in actual fact they have signed a Will

If you believe that the signature of a loved one on their Will is not theirs, you may be able to challenge the Will on the basis of it being forged. In order to prove this, you would have to obtain original examples of the deceased’s signature. As a person’s signature may naturally change over time and degenerate as they get older, the signatures should be those dated from around the time that the Will was made. It may be necessary at some point to obtain a report from a handwriting expert. 

It is vital that you are aware that you can also be penalised by the court if you allege fraud without reasonable evidence, and are unsuccessful, as it is considered to be a very serious allegation under UK law. Under these circumstances, the court could order that you have to pay your opponent’s legal costs. This is a very complex area of law, and we would strongly advise that you seek legal advice at the very start of your case, to minimise the potential of costs being ordered against you. Stephensons have a specialist inheritance dispute team who will be able to advise you in relation to your dispute.

9.1 out of 10
Trustpilot logo5-stars on trustpilot Based on count 428

We're Great

It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, and you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf.

Our Trustpilot reviews

We are so thrilled with the work Heather has done so far. She is a force to be reckoned with and exactly the person you want on your side. Her knowledge on the matter is second to none, she is very approachable and is great at explaining the complicated case to us while advising us of our best options. 
View from a Will, trust & inheritance dispute client

Disputed Wills

In order for a Will to be valid, it must comply with certain strict formalities. For example:

  • The Will must be in writing
  • The Will must be signed by the deceased
  • The deceased must have signed the Will in the presence of at least two witnesses
  • The witnesses must have signed the Will in the presence of the deceased

On what grounds can a Will be disputed?

In some cases, Will disputes occur if there have been significant changes to a person’s Will a short time before their death. For example, if the deceased’s Will left their estate to a partner or family member but this was changed shortly before their death, you may be questioning the validity of the new Will. If you need to obtain a copy of the Will, you should apply for a standing search.

The most common grounds for a Will to be disputed include:

  • Mental capacity – the person making the Will must have sufficient mental competence when making any changes to their Will, particularly if this was done shortly before their death
  • Undue influence – a person must be free to make their Will voluntarily and must not be forced into signing a Will
  • Invalid procedure – for example, witnesses not signing the Will
  • Lack of knowledge and approval – when the person making the Will understood and approved all contents of the Will
  • Fraud – for example, if someone is tricked into signed a Will

Get in touch

If you have any concerns about a loved one’s Will, or you are currently disputing the validity of a Will, Stephensons’ specialist UK solicitors will be able to review the Will and confirm whether or not it is valid. If we find proof that the Will is invalid we will then be able to advise you on the next steps.

For expert legal advice regarding fraudulent Wills or disputed Wills, please contact Stephensons today by calling 0203 816 9314. Alternatively, you can complete our online enquiry form and someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

"You broke your promise" - Son written out of Will because parents don't like his girlfriend

Within our jurisdiction, people can leave their estates to whoever they wish and there are no set rules for who you have to provide for. If family members are not happy with their provision from the estate of a loved one then they are able to challenge...

Read more

Twitter block 1 tweet

SolicitorsLLP

Stephensons advises on AOK Events Group's acquisition of Melon

The commercial team at the national law firm Stephensons has advised the events management company, AOK Events Group on its recent acquisition of the event agency, Melon. Battersea based AOK Events Group was founded in 2000 and employs a total of 45...

Read more

Staff reorder - wills inheritance

  • Andrew Leakey
  • Liam Waine
  • Rachael Williams

We're always here for you

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.

Find your nearest Stephensons office and arrange a meeting

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.