Articles | Contesting a Will

Sue Baker, head of the divorce, family and civil partnerships group at FSP, explains the circumstances in which a Will may be challenged.


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Susan Baker

Sue Baker group contact

We live in a world of increasingly complicated and extended families.  One or both parties to a marriage may have remarried following a divorce or be living with a new partner.  Often there is a second family of younger half-siblings or step-children and old rivalries can readily surface if someone is omitted from a Will.  It is not surprising then that the number of challenges to Wills is growing.   We represent executors who are faced with challenges to Wills as well as those who wish to make challenges.

Wills can be challenged for a number of reasons including:

  • The formalities for making a Will not being followed
  • The person making the Will  not having mental capacity
  • The person making the Will not understanding the contents before signing it
  • The person being forced or influenced to make a will by an unscrupulous third party
  • The person by their actions revoking the will at a later date

It is also possible for a spouse, child or cohabitee of a deceased to bring a claim against the estate of the deceased on the ground that the deceased did not make reasonable financial provision for that person.  This could affect the entitlement of others who you wanted to benefit from your estate.

Field Seymour Parkes has been advising clients on contested probate and other Will-related issues for many years.  If you need any help in this area please contact a member of our dedicated contested wills team.