Is there a Time Limit to Contest a Will?
In the UK, the time limit to bring a claim to contest a Will varies depending on the type of claim you want to bring. For example:
- If you want to contest a Will to claim for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975, you have six months from the date of Grant of Probate to do so.
- To correct a clerical error or if there has been a failure to understand the deceased’s intentions, again, you have six months from the date of Grant of Probate in which to act.
- If you believe the deceased person lacked the mental capacity to make a valid Will or was unduly influenced or coerced into making or changing a Will, there is no specific time limit to contest the Will. However, a delay may affect your chances of success.
- If you believe a Will was incorrectly executed in accordance with the legal formalities for making a Will. There is, again, no specific time limit to contest the Will.
- If you believe a Will is fraudulent and has been forged, there is no time limit for contesting the Will.
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Although for some claims there is no set time limit to contest a Will, the reality is that if a claim is brought after many years, it will be harder to obtain evidence to establish or support your claim. This may make it difficult or impossible to pursue a claim or for a court to reach a conclusion on whether the claim is valid.
It’s therefore vital that you seek legal advice so that steps are taken to contest the Will as soon as possible.
Other Claims to Contest a Will
Claims for a Share of a Deceased’s Estate
If you believe you’re entitled to a share of a person’s Estate, you have 12 years from the date of the Grant of Probate to bring a challenge.
Claims for Breach of Trust
These claims include cases where an Executor or Administrator of the Estate has failed in their duties to administer the deceased’s Estate, for example, by selling an asset for less than it was worth, or failing to distribute the deceased’s Estate correctly.
These claims to contest a Will must be brought within 6 years of the breach of trust being complained of unless there is fraud.
It isn’t always easy to establish the date from which the time limit of contesting a Will may start in these cases, so it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Our Contentious Probate Solicitors offer free initial legal advice and can increase your chances of making a successful claim. We understand that contesting a Will can also be emotionally very difficult, so we’ll handle your case in a sensitive and understanding way.
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