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Best tactic for disputing a will

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  • Best tactic for disputing a will

    My Dad was suddenly and unexpectedly diagnosed with lung cancer in February 2019. He was in significant pain, had great difficulty breathing and was unable to write. 3 days before he died my sister took a DIY will pack into the hospital and got a clause put in the will which grants her a gift of £25,000. My Dad had made no previous wills.

    The rest of the estate worth approximately £350,000 is split equally in the will so it's only the £25,000 that's in dispute as well as her position as sole executor. I want to look into the possibility of contesting the will as the circumstances of it seem very suspicious and I donít believe it reflected his true wishes. It's seems very strange she was the person to write and prepare this will and also was the only person to benefit from it.

    I have a copy of the will and have entered a caveat to prevent her from being granted probate. A copy of the will is attached.

    I understand that as the amount in dispute is only worth £12,500 there is a significant risk that the cost of legal action may exceed the value of the claim.

    I haven't yet contacted the witnesses to confirm the will was executed correctly but I will do soon. I have requested a copy of my fathers medical records so that testamentary capacity can be looked into.

    If she issues a caveat warning should I reply stating that I want her to 'prove the will in solemn form' I assume that this will protect me from having to pay her costs as due to the questionable circumstances of the DIY Will I hope that the court will be this as a reasonable action on my part.

    I hope that the benefit of this course of action is it protects me from having to pay any of her costs and puts her in a position where it's clearly cheaper for her to mediate than to go to the expense of proving the will.
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  • #2
    Hi noname123,
    When the Will was created do you know who witnessed it? If your sister was a witness then she canít receive the legacy under the Will.
    As you have indicated the cost of arguing his through the Court May be more costly than the potential benefit you may gain if the Will is invalid.
    Once you have seen the Will and who witnessed then it may be worth writing to your sister as executor formally and setting out your issues with your proposed solution.
    i appreciate your father was very ill towards the end but it doesnít necessarily mean he did not have capacity to make the decision he has. Have you been told why he wanted to give this extra legacy to your sister?
    Feel free to post again once you are able to confirm the witnesses of the Will.
    I am a qualified solicitor and am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

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