Thompson Smith and Puxon is pleased to announce Sharon Auton, who leads TSP’s Dispute Resolution team, is now a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS).

ACTAPS was established for lawyers specialising in contentious trust and probate work. Its aim is to promote the enhancement of specific skills, specialisation and expertise in this area by the provision of education and training and, where possible, to enable representations to be made to the appropriate governmental and judicial bodies in relation to contentious trust and probate issues.

Contentious probate, also commonly referred to as contesting a Will, is becoming more common and is a demanding and expensive process so it is important to obtain good legal advice.

You can contest a Will if you have reason to believe that there may be something amiss with it, but not if you are just unhappy with the amount of your inheritance. There are various reasons why a Will may be challenged. Some of the most common reasons are as follows:

  • Lack of formal validity and due execution
  • Lack of testamentary capacity
  • Undue Influence
  • Lack of knowledge and approval
  • Revocation
  • Proprietary estoppel

All of these reasons are explained in more detail here.

If you are successful the Will is declared invalid and the next most recent Will stands in its place. If there is no such Will the rules of intestacy will apply.

If you do need advice about contesting or defending a Will, the TSP Dispute Resolution team led by Sharon Auton can advise you on the best course of action. Contact the team here.

For more information you can also listen to Sharon Auton and Judith Winward discussing the topic in our podcast here.

It is very important, when making your Will, to make sure that you get good advice to minimise the risk of your Will successfully being contested, once you are no longer here. For advice on making your Will our Wills and Estates will be happy to help and can be contacted here.