Can I Contest a Will?

You can contest a Will if you feel it’s invalid or if the Will fails to provide financial provision to someone who feels they are entitled.

There are five main reasons upon which a Will can be contested:

Lack of valid execution

In order for a Will to meet the proper legal requirements, a Will must:

  • Be in writing
  • Be signed by the person making the Will, or someone who has authorisation to do so
  • Be witnessed by two independent parties who are present at the signing of the Will. A witness cannot be named as a beneficiary and should not be a close relative, such as a spouse or children

Lack of capacity

For a Will to be valid, the person making the Will must have the testamentary capacity to do so. They must:

  • Be of sound mind and not be suffering any mental illness
  • Understand the importance of making a Will
  • Understand the true value of their Estate

Lack of knowledge and approval

The law states that the person making the Will must know, understand and approve the contents of their Will. There are several different ways in which a lack of knowledge and capacity may arise:

  • The person making the Will was too ill to fully understand the contents
  • The person making the Will didn’t read the Will during the execution
  • The content of the Will didn’t express their wishes.

Undue influence

When a Will is made, it must be done without any pressure or coercion. It must be the wishes of the person making the Will and should not be influenced by anyone else such as a family member, carer or a professional who could benefit from the Will.  Suspicions may be aroused if:

  • The Will was updated unexpectantly excluding a family member/friend/colleague
  • The Will was updated unexpectantly including a family member/friend/colleague
  • The provision of the Will is different to what had previously been expressed

Fraud and/or Forgery

A Will that has been proven to be a forgery or is a result of fraud will be deemed invalid. Examples include:

  • Pretending to be the person making the Will and then forging their signature
  • Destroying a Will without the person’s permission
  • Making false claims about another beneficiary so that they are cut out of the Will


How we can help

To find out how we can assist, contact our experts on our dedicated Will Disputes helpline 0161 694 4155 for a free initial telephone discussion or fill in our online form. Alternatively, you can email us on and we’ll call you back.

Related articles of interest

Signing Process for Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney

Court extends time to challenge a Will

The Importance of Reviewing your Will where Land is concerned – Proprietary Estoppel