There are 3 reasons why relatives are driven to challenge a will:
1. Improper execution of a will.
2. Mental health of testator.
3. Absence of testator’s approval.
The proper execution of a will requires will writing solicitors qualified to follow the legal process. A will must be executed in writing and include the testamentary intent. The testator must be sound in mind – must know and understand the contents of the will – and witnesses must be present whilst the will is being signed. The testator must also be present when the witnesses sign the will.
The testamentary capacity is crucial to the execution of a will. When writing a will, the testator must be sound in mind. The testator must be of good mental health and able to agree with the contents of a will. Poor mental health affects the contents of the will and it is likely to contradict the testator’s true intentions.
In other words a testator’s mental health must not influence the contents of a will. For instance, if the testator suffers from a mental illness, the will could prove invalid. Therefore, a testator’s mental faculties must be properly assessed so that they are not later contested.
There has to be evidence of the testator’s approval of the will’s contents. Did the now deceased know the exact contents of the will? Did the now deceased understand the exact contents of the will? A disappointed beneficiary could be entitled to challenge a will.
If there’s any indication that the deceased was unaware of or didn’t understand its contents, the will can be challenged. Contentious probate could follow if there isn’t enough evidence to support the deceased’s knowledge and understanding of the contents of a will.
If you are planning to write a will, one of our solicitors can offer expert advice and guide you through the process. Please contact one of our will writing solicitors and make an initial appointment. SG
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