Contesting a will

A first-rate reputation, handling cases with calm diplomacy.

The Legal 500
Private Client and Tax

After someone has died, there might be concerns about whether their will is in fact valid and truly represents their wishes. Such concerns can arise in a number of ways and may result in will disputes.

If a court finds that a will is invalid, the deceased's estate will be administered in accordance with their previous will, or if there are no previous wills, in accordance with the intestacy rules. A successful claim challenging a will can therefore have significant consequences for the beneficiaries.

Each case is unique to its own facts and any individual with such concerns about the validity of a will should seek guidance and support. We can advise on whether the circumstances surrounding the preparation of a will do give rise to a claim and the necessary investigations and procedures to either pursue or defend such a claim.

Investigations into the background to the preparation and execution of a will may include obtaining medical records and information from the solicitor who prepared the will, and entering a caveat which prevents a grant of probate from being issued.

We offer expert advice on:

  • cases where the testator did not intend to make a will (lack of testamentary intention)
  • the will is not validly executed (lack of due execution)
  • the testator was pressured or coerced into making the will (undue influence)
  • the testator did not really know what they were signing (lack of knowledge and approval)
  • the testator did not have capacity to make a will (lack of testamentary capacity)
  • fraud or forgery

Recent work highlights

Handwritten codicil

Acting on behalf of a defendant beneficiary of an estate where there was a dispute as to the validity of a handwritten codicil purportedly executed by the deceased in favour of another beneficiary.


Significant settlement

Challenging a will on grounds of lack of testamentary capacity and successfully negotiating a settlement.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP