Unfairly and unexpectedly left out of the Will
A Will can be challenged if it unfairly leaves someone out.
There are 3 main types of claim that can be made when you are left out of a Will:
- If you were part of the family of the person who died then you might be able to challenge the Will for failing to make reasonable provision for you. Click here to read more about failure to make reasonable provision claims.
- You might be able to have the Will declared invalid on the basis it was made made under pressure and does not reflect the true wishes of the person who died. Click here to find out more about Will made under pressure.
- The other possible claim you may have is where the reason you have been left out is because the Will was not properly written and did not reflect the wishes of the person who died. This type of claim is explained in more detail below.
Will not properly written
To be successful there will usually be no explanation for leaving you out. However there might be a reasonable explanation for leaving you out if you had fallen out with the person who died or they left a letter left with their Will explaining why you have been left out.
We can review the Will (and the file of any professional used to prepare the Will) to see if there is a record of the true intentions of the person who died.
- It might be that there was a clear error that we can apply to the court to put right (known as “rectifying the Will”).
- It might be that the words used in the Will are not clear. In this case we can ask the court to decide the meaning of the words used. This is sometimes called a “Will construction claim”.
- Perhaps there is evidence that there was a more recent last Will that has been lost or destroyed. If there is sufficient evidence of what the person really intended (such as paperwork kept by the professional advisor) then it may be possible to bring a claim for that missing Will to be “reconstructed”.
- It might be that it is not possible to correct a Will in this way. If they had used a professional advisor to write their Will (such as a will-writer or solicitor) then you may have a claim against them for your lost inheritance due to their negligent legal work. This area of law is known as a professional negligence claim. Click to read more about professional negligence claims.
Whether you have concerns about a Will being challenged or feel you have been wrongly left out of the Will, then it is best to take early legal advice. Our Free Initial Assessment is there to enable people facing this type of situation receive early, confidential telephone advice from an expert lawyer.