How long do you have to contest a will?

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.

 

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

4-December-2018

An Employment Law Christmas Carol

There are still limited spaces available for our Christmas employment seminar to be held at Exeter Racecourse on Tuesday 11th December from 10am-1pm. We look back at Christmases Past and happy days gone by when we on-boarded those new recruits,…

4-December-2018

Newly Qualified Solicitor

            We are delighted to announce that on 3rd December, Kelly Burns qualified as a solicitor at Tozers. Kelly originally joined the firm in 2013 as a paralegal before completing her training contract. Kelly will…

27-November-2018

Tozers’ Mark Meleady wins Young Lawyer of the Year at The LawNet Awards 2018

Image (L-R): Chris Marston (LawNet), Claire Smith (Moneypenny – Sponsors), Mark Meleady (Tozers Solicitors LLP), Helen Hamilton-Shaw (LawNet) On Friday 23rd November, Mark Meleady took home the award for Young Lawyer of the Year at The Lawnet Awards 2018 which…