Can you contest an inheritance in the UK?
Yes, you can contest an inheritance in the UK, provided you have the legal grounds to do so.
In the jurisdiction of England and Wales the two most common ways of contesting an inheritance are:
- to dispute the legal validity of a will; or
- to make a claim under the Inheritance Act.
Disputing the legal validity of a will
A will must be legally valid to be enforceable, so if you have lost out under a will which you think is invalid then you can contest it.
There are a number of different grounds for contesting the validity of a will. These include:
If a will is declared to be legally invalid then the terms of any earlier valid will shall be implemented. If there is no earlier valid will then the intestacy provisions shall apply. Generally, it is only worth contesting the validity of a will if you are likely to benefit under an earlier valid will or under the intestacy rules.
Making a claim under the Inheritance Act
The Inheritance Act exists to protect people who have not received reasonable financial provision from a deceased person’s estate, either under their will, or under the intestacy rules.
To be able to bring an Inheritance Act claim you need to be able to show that you fall within one of the categories specified in the Act. These include:
The court has the power to override the wishes of the deceased person so that justice is done. Awards are based upon the claimant’s individual financial circumstances, the size of the deceased person’s estate and the needs of any other beneficiary or claimant.
So, if you have been wondering, ‘Can you contest an inheritance?’ and would like further guidance on how to go about it, then contact our national helpline. Call us on 0333 888 0404 or send details of your case to us by email at [email protected]