We’re Here To Help You Contest A Will - Undue Influence

What is Undue Influence?

Undue influence is said to have been used when the person making the Will is pressurised to make or change their Will. As more people make Wills later in life, sometimes they are influenced by one child to write other family members out of their Will. Sometimes they have little family nearby, or they live in a home or they are suffering from some form of dementia and can in some cases be influenced to change the contents of their Wills to benefit their carers.

How do you prove Undue Influence?

In instances like this, it may be possible to show the Will is invalid. However the burden of proof is with the person who is challenging the Will and so it is advisable to use the services of an experienced contested probate solicitor, to help you gain all the evidence required. This will be by using the services of witnesses, both people in the Will maker’s everyday life, plus experts, such as GP’s and even private investigators if necessary.

What are your next steps?

If you are in this situation and would like to speak to someone who understands this area of law, give us a call for a non-obligatory discussion and we’re sure we can help you work out your next steps.

See our other pages on Contesting Wills

  • Fraudulent Wills – this is when a signature is altered or perhaps when a previous Will is destroyed.
  • Invalid Wills - all Wills must comply with the Wills Act, meaning they must be in writing, signed and dated at the same time as being witnessed by two independent witnesses, who are not beneficiaries. If any of these rules are not complied with the will is invalid and fails.
  • Lack of capacity to make a Will - the person making the will must have the mental capacity to make it. In other words they must be able to appreciate and understand what effect their Will might have on their estate, meaning they must be able to comprehend the extent of their estate and be thoughtful of the claims that could be made on it. These principals were first established in a very old case called Banks v Goodfellow in 1870, but the judgement still holds fast today. Will disputes are now more frequent when the person making the will (known as testator ) may have been suffering from a form of dementia.
  • Claims for financial maintenance – If you are in some way financially dependent on the deceased and have not been provided for in their Will, you can make a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975. However, there is only a limited time period to do this, 6 months from the date of the Grant of Probate.

Call us on 01935 823883 to discuss your Will dispute