How long do you have to contest a will?

person walking through field with sunlight

In almost all types of legal claim, time limits apply. If a claim is not brought within the time limit, the right to claim is lost. When a will is disputed, the time limit applicable will depend on the type of claim.

Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Inheritance Act claims are brought by spouses, children and other dependents of the deceased where the will, or the lack of a will, means reasonable financial provision is not made for the person bringing the claim.

Inheritance Act Claims must be brought within 6 months of the date of the Grant of Probate.  A Grant of Probate is the official document produced by the Probate Registry giving the Executor named in the will the power to deal with the deceased’s estate.

An Inheritance Act claim can be brought at any point up to this deadline and a claim and, if necessary, before the Grant of Probate is obtained.

Lack of capacity, want of knowledge and approval, and undue influence

Claims relating to the mental state of the deceased at the time they made the will must be brought with 12 years of the date the claim arises.  The claim arises usually on death.

This may seem like a very long period of time but in reality a claimant would never really want to wait this long because the Executors are under a duty to deal with the estate within a reasonable period of time and this usually takes no more than 2 years from the date of death (sometimes longer in complicated estates).  Once the estate has been distributed, it can be very difficult for a claimant, and the court, to try to piece it back together again.

Accordingly, we would always advise seeking advice immediately if you think you have a claim.  We would normally make sure the executors do not make any distribution before the claim has been dealt with.

Contact our specialist Will & Disputes team on willdisputes@tozers.co.uk or call 01392 207761

Want to know more?

Request a call back or ask us a question using our quick-contact form.
Alternatively you can call us on 01392 207020.


Read our FREE Guides

Download now

News & Events

17-May-2019

Paul Zaleski’s Marathon Training Diary | The Final Week

            After all the training and blogging, the time has finally come for Paul to take to the running ‘stage’ on Sunday and complete the Exeter Marathon. Here’s how the final week of prep has…

10-May-2019

Paul Zaleski – Marathon Training Blog Part 6

                      Since the last blog post, Paul Zaleski’s runs have varied from a 20 miler to a 1.5 mile Easter rabbit fun run. As marathon day draws ever closer, we…

9-May-2019

Make your Will and support Rowcroft Hospice

From 13th-17th May Tozers will be waiving fees for a simple Will in return for a donation to Rowcroft Hospice, as part of Make a Will Week. Sorting your Will is not a task many look forward to – but…