Family of Terry Jones Contest His Will

Ruth Wijay
Ruth Wijay
Head of Wills, Probate & Trusts

Monty Python star, Terry Jones, passed away last year after suffering a rare form of dementia. Jones’ children from his first marriage have decided to contest their father’s Will on the grounds that he didn’t have mental capacity when he made his Will, leaving the residue of his Estate to his second wife, Anna Söderström.

Söderström is expected to defend this claim by showing that Jones had the mental capacity to make a Will, as at the time he made his Will he was working on stage and directing a play. But this doesn’t prove that Jones did have the mental capacity to make a Will, and in this case, it will be up to Jones’ children to show this.

These situations can be defended if a Will is made in person with a specialist Wills expert. 

Our Wills and Trusts specialists are happy to meet with you in person in one of our offices. We will talk about your wishes with you as well as documenting some information about your family and assets. If we feel that your capacity to make a Will needs to be assessed by a medical expert, we’ll let you know so you don’t waste time making a Will that might not be valid.

Call us on 0808 239 4634 or request a callback

Reduce the Chances of Your Will Being Contested

If you have questions about your mental capacity when making a Will, here are a few ways you can make sure your Will isn’t challenged when you die:

Talk to Your GP or Memory Café

If you have recently been diagnosed with early onset dementia or are concerned that you are struggling to remember things, please speak with your GP. Your local memory clinic can then advise you on making a Will and help you decide if it’s the best course of action for you.

You could take other steps such as making Lasting Powers of Attorney so that your family can manage your affairs if you are no longer able to.

This will completely depend on your situation, but it’s important to get as much advice from trained professionals as you can if you or any of your loved ones are concerned about your mental capacity at the time of writing your Will.

Speak to a Wills Specialist in Person

Our team of Wills experts are trained to spot the signs of a Will that could be challenged. We will always be honest and open with you and if there is a serious concern about your capacity, we may ask that you to get a mental capacity report from a trained professional as this would provide a robust defence to any claim about your capacity when making your Will.

If you have recently been diagnosed with early onset dementia, then we can progress your Will to completing it quickly while you’re still sound of mind.

We know it might be a difficult time for you, but it’s vital you make sure your Will is completed properly and that all of the important decisions you make about your assets will be carried out as you wish once you die.

Make Sure No One is Pressuring You

It’s important that no one is pressuring you to put anything in your Will that you don’t want there. This is called undue influence, which means you didn’t make the Will fully voluntarily and that makes your Will invalid.

Undue influence is something that can sadly happy if you’ve recently been diagnosed with an illness like dementia because someone could convince you that they’re helping you when their intentions aren’t in your best interests.

Making a Will with one of our experts means this is much less likely to happen because we can help make sure your Will reflects your wishes only.

When you come to meet one of our friendly Wills specialists in person, we can speak to you confidentially about your wishes and raise concerns if we feel you’re being unduly influenced.

Our team can handle your case sensitively and promptly, so that making sure your loved ones are looked after when you die is one thing you don’t have to worry about.

For free legal advice call our Wills and Trusts Solicitors

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